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Thursday, May 27 • 9:00am - 10:30am
Policies, Impact, and Response

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Sydney Balderston Student Responses to Climate Change: Determinants of Participation in Collective Action 
My research uses in-depth interview research with undergraduate students at the University of Oregon to understand why the amount of public concern about the climate crisis is not reflected in the amount of collective action to address the issue. To gain insight into the factors that determine whether a concerned student becomes activated to address climate change collectively, my research focuses on 20 students who are deeply concerned about climate change and see it as an urgent threat.  I recruited two subgroups within this population of concerned students. The first 10 students I refer to as active and are currently involved in collective action to address climate change and were recruited through their group, club, organization, or movement. The second group of 10 students I refer to as inactive because they have not been mobilized to take action beyond the individual level. I argue that the application of general sociological theories around movement mobilization is insufficient for understanding the current state of inaction around an issue as dynamic as climate change. Whether students translate their concern into collective action is dependent on their comfortability in activist spaces, perception of climate activism, their view of their role is within the crisis and how likely they think climate change will be contained.Insights from this research and additional studies using the experiences of concerned Americans could be utilized to activate more to the fight. 

Olivia Farnham Compounding Precarity: COVID-19 and the New Hazards of Low-Wage Work in the University Setting 
As the coronavirus spread in the early months of 2020, low-wage workers on college campuses experienced an unprecedented transformation of work conditions that has resulted in continual uncertainty and increased risk. During the first three months of 2021, I conducted twenty semi-structured interviews with classified staff and student-workers employed through four different universities in the United States to ask: What does it mean to be a low-wage worker on a college campus in the context of a global health crisis? Based on this data, I find that COVID-19 has heightened the preexistent precarity of low-wage workers who are experiencing this in three key ways: 1) confusion surrounding paid sick leave options, 2) anxiety as a background condition of work, and 3) the conversion of these conditions into the new normal. To conclude, I center workers’ voices in appeals for the future, including the need for transparent dissemination of COVID-related information, the recognition of their lived experiences and inclusion of their voices in the production of workplace policy, and a return to normalcy. Even under normal circumstances these workers are forced into impossible choices, and a year into the pandemic this position has only been intensified. In order to mitigate the vulnerability of low-wage workers, we need to recognize that these circumstances go beyond the scope of the current moment and will endure if the structural inequalities of low-wage work are not addressed. 

Alyssa Taylor Covid-19 and Teletherapy: Environment, Access and Efficacy 
COVID-19 has had an impact on individual mental health and the structure of how mental health treatment is offered. The objective of this research was to understand the extent that environment played in patient access and experiences with remote therapy models. This research was conducted through a one-time, five to ten-minute survey that contained open-ended as well as multiple choice questions. Respondents had attended therapy or wished to attend in the past year. About sixty-five percent were female identifying, and a majority had been seeing a therapist at some point prior to COVID. Most respondents had insurance that covered behavioral health and a majority of that came from a Medicare expansion program or was through an employer. The biggest barrier for people still looking for therapy in 2020/21 was a lack of therapists accepting new patients and provider bios that were not comprehensive or lacking in personality. All respondents from both groups were open about therapy with at least someone in their lives. In terms of the environmental impacts of teletherapy, a majority of respondents attended therapy in their bedrooms to avoid other members of their households, some took walks, some found ways to meet with their therapist outdoors. The major concerns were privacy, technological issues and inability to read body language. Despite a majority of respondents preferring in-person treatment, the overall consensus was that teletherapy should remain an option post-pandemic. 

Madi Vann Countries Beyond Bars: A Cross-National Comparison of Methods of Incarceration 
The culture of incarceration in the United States has long been rooted in punitive practices intended to punish incarcerated persons rather than to rehabilitate these populations in preparation for re-entry into society upon release. Alongside the high recidivism rates among prison populations, the United States is long overdue for an overhaul in prison practices, specifically pertaining to punitive practices of incarceration. Using the incarceration model of the Netherlands as an exploratory country of comparison, this research delves into varying methods of incarceration and criminal sanctions, primarily centered on rehabilitative measures of incarceration. While rehabilitative methods of incarceration assist in some aspects of post-release aid, it is through areas of community support outside of the criminal justice system that occur prior to incarceration that this research shows an effective reduction of recidivism and crime rates. By looking at alternate examples of incarceration in relation to published rates of recidivism in each country, this research works to call into question the efficacy of incarceration measures as a whole in easing prisoner reentry into society. 

Thursday May 27, 2021 9:00am - 10:30am PDT