Unlike other colleges and universities, Cabrini requires courses called Engagements of the Common Good, also called an ECG. In ECG classes, you are taught about issues that have an impact on our world, and in our communities. These classes go hand-in-hand with our university’s mission of Education of the Heart. The ECG classes I took will forever resonate in my heart with fond memories and a new insight into problems in society.
The ECG class called Our Interdependent World gave me a brief outlook on global issues such as immigration, fair trade, and climate change. It consisted of other students that were in the Communication Learning Community (LC). We worked together to create a climate change simulation that we presented at Cabrini Day. We had people make decisions that they make on a regular basis, and show how it impacted the environment. In class, I learned how to be more aware of my actions that could impact others around the world, and I met some of my closest friends through that LC.
For ECG 200, I took Rethinking Addiction. Our professor was a social worker who meets with people who suffer from addiction, and their families, to help them find their way to sobriety. It consisted of many group discussions and guest speakers. We covered different aspects of the issue, such as types of addiction, how people see addicts, and how they are medically treated. The most powerful part of the class was when we had to go to an overdose awareness walk in Eddystone, PA. There, we met families who lost their loved ones and people who fought to stay clean. Since I lived local to the area where it was held, lots of names were familiar to me. The overall message of the class is that addiction is a disease and sometimes is not treated that way.
Last semester I was involved in the Inside-Out Program where Cabrini students and two professors travel to Montgomery County Correctional Facility and take class with female inmates, or as we call them in the program, inside-students. While learning about the war on drugs, the inside-students were very open about their past experiences with us. In class we had group discussions and activities about drugs, and the laws in regard to them. Initially, it was a bit intimidating going there, but after a few weeks it just felt like I was taking class with my regular classmates, and it did not feel like it was at a jail. I learned that there are lots of faults in our prison systems, and that the laws treat drugs as a crime issue as opposed to a mental health issue.
In my ECG classes, I learned that you should think of everybody and not turn a blind eye to the problems that are rooted in our world. Everybody deserves respect, dignity, and a right to live a happy life.