MU FIG students on an enlightening field trip. MU FIG students on an enlightening field trip.

Today, during a press conference that nobody asked for, several doctoral candidates of Sociology and Political Science at the University of Missouri cited the Social Justice Freshmen Interest Group program, or FIG for short, as an inspiration for their further pursuits.

The FIG meets once every week for an hour to discuss issues that mostly don’t relate to the field of study the section is named after. Take “Food Justice” for example; this is probably just a concept that the Social Justice FIG made up.

“I didn’t even know the concept of justice was applicable. I learned that I could be pissed off about pretty much anything—it rules,” PhD candidate Leon Bronstein said.

This particular section of the FIG program prides itself on creative, immersive activities to get the students to genuinely care about real ongoing issues in our world.

“I’ll never forget the day they sat us down, and had us make arts and crafts about our favorite social justice issue,” Sociology PhD candidate Jonathan Rosenberg said. “My T.A., who taught the class, and the professor who was there to make sure he didn’t fuck up, were really impressed with the clay diorama I made of the Rwandan Genocide. It was then I knew that my calling was to become a panhandler for Invisible Children for the rest of my days.”

Other class activities include half-hearted protests, field trips to fair trade stores for overpriced trinkets, and regular lectures from professors and guests alike to broaden the perspective of the FIG students. Many professors within the program have said these activities are quite popular with the students.

“The most valuable thing I learned in class was to never bring up Hitler when talking to a girl, especially on the first date,” Bronstein said. “Some people agree with his political views, and I have to respect that.”

When asked about what prompted them to pursue such a rigorous academic standing, another candidate chimed in.

“Since I loved the class so much and learned so many things about the world, I just had to expand my knowledge of the world to the fullest,” candidate Anne Winters said. “It was the best decision I ever made. I can’t wait to be right all the time in front of other people when I finish my dissertation.”

Bronstein concluded his thoughts with satisfaction.

“Being in this class, and then getting my PhD, well, it makes me feel like I have a reason to live, you know?”

FIG instructor George Jackson also spoke at the press conference, feeling differently from those so enthusiastic about the program.

“I never realized until now how much my own lesson plan made me cringe,” he said. “My life is a complete waste. Can I go now?”

The University of Missouri commended itself on this particular FIG’s success, and purchased a second multi-million dollar football field.

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