Westfield State University and Sacred Heart University Promote Financial Literacy Through “Uniting Hearts” Initiative

In an effort to raise awareness of the importance of financial literacy for first-generation students, undergraduates of Dr. Robert Chatt’s Financial Management course at Westfield State University (WSU) and students of Dr. Mark Congdon Jr’s Advertising & PR Writing and The courses in advertising and public relations campaigns at the University of the Sacred Heart (SHU), as well as the graduate students of the strategic communication and public relations program of the SHU, are collaborating on a campaign of multi-institutional public awareness within the framework of the School of Communication, Media and Arts of the SHU. Unite Hearts Initiative.

WSU and SHU students team up with WSU TRIO Support Services Program, SHU’s Multicultural Center, its chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, the Office of Volunteer Programming and Service Learning, and its MBA program, as well as The Hord Foundation, promote financial literacy on and off campus.

The “Uniting Hearts: Leading the Way to Financial Freedom” campaign will guide initiatives to foster dialogue on how to become financially responsible and to encourage the implementation of these ideas. The two-week campaign runs from November 10-18. Various educational opportunities and interactive events are sponsored throughout the month to encourage campus engagement around the themes of budgeting, credit scores / credit history, student loan management, retirement planning and of investment. The aim is to educate students so that they are able to apply financially responsible behaviors in their future projects.

Those who know financial literacy are more likely to stay out of debt, save money, and make the right investments. A survey conducted by the Certified Board of Financial Planner found that 62% of people who use a budget feel more in control of their finances. A to study on Collegiate Financial Wellness also found that “first generation students are much more likely than next generation students to use loans, scholarships, credit cards and salaries to finance their education.” This highlights the need for first generation students to understand the importance of managing their finances and to learn how to implement responsible financial behaviors.

The events are divided into three categories: educate, motivate and participate. The vision of the campaign is to bring communities together, examine what are financially responsible behaviors, challenge the systemic classism, racism and sexism entrenched in our society that contribute to financial illiteracy, and to recognize the need to ‘individual and collective change.

“This multi-institutional campaign will allow us to raise awareness about how to be more financially responsible and encourage everyone to think about our behaviors,” said Robert Chatt, Ph.D., assistant professor of finance at Westfield State University.

Five different events and roundtables hosted by WSU and SCMA students, community professionals and alumni will take place during the month:

  • On November 10 at 7 p.m., join the event, “Food for thought: a cultural kick-off and a discussion on food insecurity and food budgeting»Which will take place in person on the SHU campus at Théa Abbey and also broadcast live on SHUs Instagram of the Multicultural Center
  • On November 11 at 8 p.m., join the Watch Party Discussion of The banker which will take place in person on the SHU campus at Martire, room W114
  • November 15 at 7 p.m. join the Zoom for the “Domino Effect: Examining the Over $ 1.7 Trillion Student Loan Crisis” round table
  • On November 17, at 8 p.m., join the Hybrid Watch Party Discussion of Save capitalism which will take place both virtually on Zoom and in person on the SHU campus at Martire, room W120
  • November 18, at 8 p.m., join the Zoom for the “Financial literacy quiz night”With opportunities to win prizes.
  • There will also be “Wisdom Wednesday” community conversations hosted by the SHU Multicultural Center on November 10 at 1 pm and November 17 at 1 pm.

    “The Uniting Hearts initiative harnesses the collective power of community work to advance the mission and purpose of higher education,” said Robert Johnson, director of the Multicultural Center at SHU. Dr Mark Congdon Jr., Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at SHU, added that “getting students to think about how they can apply their learning content to help the wider community advances the mission of social justice of SHU and WSU ”.

    With the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting the interdependence of our systems and exacerbating the financial hardships many students and families face, this is a crucial time to connect students with resources to understand key elements of financial literacy that will guide them to financial success in the future, organizers said.

    For more information on upcoming campaign events, visit the Uniting Hearts Fall 2021 Events Schedule website.