J-school now home to Dept. of Social Work

Photo of SJGC courtesy: WFSU.org

From the drills vibrating against the walls to the empty offices being filled, students at Florida A&M’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communication have become curious about what’s happening inside their building.

What is it, you may ask? The answer is simple: The Department of Social Work, a unit in the College of Social Sciences, Arts & the Humanities, is relocating to SJGC.

“The university identified SJGC as a suitable space to temporarily accommodate the Department of Social Work when it was determined that they would need to be relocated from the Benjamin Banneker Building, which is being demolished as part of FAMU’s capital improvement plan,” SJGC Dean Mira Lowe said.

SJGC professionals and students will have the chance to collaborate more closely, combining their expertise to shed light on social issues and drive positive change within the school and community. Chairwoman and Master’s of Social Work Program Director Katisa Donaldson says she is open to this.

“We are definitely open to the partnership; we do a lot in the community,” Donaldson said. “The same thing that journalism does, social work does, which is keeping people aware.”

The decision to relocate the Dept. of Social Work to SJGC has been met with student support and concern.

Senior public relations student Jaylin Alleyne supports the decision, “There are a good bit of empty offices and classes, so I don’t see an issue,” Alleyne said.

On the other hand, Neveah Palmer, a senior graphic design student, doesn’t too much like the decision, saying, “They need to fix the issues in j-school before they start adding people. Also, fixing these classrooms during class can be disturbing.”

William Jiles, the journalism division director and a professor at SJGC, said, “SJGC students should not be affected at all because the social work is taking the south end of our building on the fourth floor, and a portion on the second floor there will be some faculty and administrators.”

Jiles added: “We are proud of our facilities here at SJGC and want to utilize them to the fullest for our students, but there are times when we have space that is not occupied.”

Lowe said she expects the transition to be completed within two weeks.

“The move-in of all parties is expected to be completed by the end of February,” she said.