By: Mira Costello
On Aug. 31, the Student Social Work Association convened for their first meeting of the school year on the deck outside the Wiekamp lounge.
The group played icebreaker games and discussed potential engagement opportunities while sharing baked goods homemade by faculty adviser Tracy Marschall Salazar.
SSWA officers and new members alike floated ideas for potential service learning opportunities in the community, such as volunteer work with the YWCA and local food banks, as well as panels with various social work-related agencies, including Black Lives Matter South Bend.
“I hope the Student Social Work Association strengthens our ties to the South Bend community by working with local human service organizations and cultivates strong, genuine bonds between social work students,” Anna Roberts, a senior finishing her term as SSWA president, said.
The SSWA plans to hold elections for all officer positions as well as social media managers this month.
The organization will also host social events to promote networking and friendship among social work students. They planned their recurring coffee socials, which will occur on the first Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at a different local cafe. The SSWA will also host a game night on Sept. 12 from 7-9 p.m. in the SAC game room, and they discussed other recreational activities such as a meditation workshop, a tailgate in support of athlete members and t-shirt painting.
“I’m looking forward to our first coffee social at Cloud Walking Coffee on September 7,” Roberts said. While the group had some social events last year, returning members expressed a desire for more such opportunities. “We want to promote the SSWA to students at all levels of standing in the Social Work program and let them know that this organization has something for them no matter what stage they may be at in their education.”
Roberts said students who want more information about getting involved with the Student Social Work Association can contact faculty adviser Lindsay Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org.