Social Work Student Association (SWSA)

swsaAttention BSW students, here is an amazing opportunity to gain insight as well as a chance to put what you've been learning in the classroom into practice.

This opportunity involves being a part of York University's Social Work Student Association otherwise known as SWSA. (SWSA on YU Connect)

What is SWSA?

It’s a platform which allows all who participate to voice their opinions, provide and receive support for success, to have fun, and to raise questions that we as BSW students have regarding our Program.

In other words, SWSA is a valuable resource for BSW students. SWSA promotes all Social Work values with an emphasis on empowerment and understanding. You also get experience with the Committees in the School of Social Work.

Ultimately, SWSA is deemed a bridge between the students and the School of Social Work. SWSA is also a way to show the rest of York University that being a Social Worker is a lifestyle and that Social Work is a highly valued and legitimate profession.

This past year we:

  • Hosted an End of Semester Social @ The Orange Snail
  • Organized the purchase of Social Work Sweaters including three colours and an option for personalization
  • Collaborated with HealthED to provide BSW students with a Stress Busters Event
  • Launched the TRY Collective of Social Work Students and Alumni
  • Organized and ran the first ever Social Work Networking Gala connecting the students at York University with those from Ryerson University and the University of Toronto
  • Held our Annual General Meeting
  • Participated in Academic and Professional Club Dayz
  • + Much More!

Being involved in SWSA as an Executive Member, a Volunteer or simply a member also opens remarkable opportunities for those who participate and is also a great networking platform for now and the future.

Meet the 2016-2017 SWSA Team!

Alicia Pinelli: Co-Chair 

Contact: cochair.swsa@gmail.com
My Role:
 I am one of the two Co-Chairs on the SWSA team. My role is to work with students, faculty, community partners and the rest of the SWSA team to meet the needs of our wonderful social work students. This includes, but is not limited to: being one of the chief financial officers of the organization, working with the other co-chair and finance coordinator to complete of all club funding applications to organizations at York University, helping to plan and execute amazing events for the student body, working closely with the Events Coordinator to secure sponsorships and funds on behalf of SWSA, checking and answering all emails in a timely manner through the main association account, maintaining an up-to-date copy of the constitution and its by-laws, ensuring that the constitution and bylaws are up to date and available to all members on YUConnect as soon as possible following amendments to these documents, will be completing all print and graphic art for the committee and will be responsible for confirming volunteer hours on YUConnect.

Why I Joined SWSA: Last year I joined SWSA as the Public Relations Coordinator because it combined three of my greatest passions in life: helping others, public relations and graphic design. Throughout the year I got to experience some amazing opportunities and met some wonderful people, but I have always wanted to help out even more. For me, I joined SWSA as a Co-Chair this year because I wanted to commit to listen to the students, voice their suggestions, opinions and concerns, and doing my best to make change happen. I still hold onto the passions of graphic design and public relations, but helping others well…hey that’s why I am in Social Work!

Fun Facts:

  • I have a pet corn snake named Jeffery
  • I have gone to 3 Post-Secondary Institutions for 4 separate programs!
  • On the weekends I do obstacle courses like ToughMudder, Spartan Race and Battlefrog
  • I used to be a patient at SickKids #thankyousickkids
  • I have 9 tattoos and 2 of them are from Lord of the Rings
  • I own over 60 different shades of lipstick and I am usually wearing blue, green or purple

 Shelby Crawford: Co-Chair 

Contact: cochair.swsa@gmail.com
My Role:
 As one of the two Co-Chairs of the SWSA team my role is to liaison between the students, faculty and community to meet the needs of the Social Work students. This includes: being one of the chief financial officers of the organization, working with the other co-chair and finance coordinator to complete of all club funding applications to organizations at York University, helping to plan and execute amazing events for the student body, working closely with the Events Coordinator to secure sponsorships and funds on behalf of SWSA, checking and answering all emails in a timely manner through the main association account, maintaining an up-to-date copy of the constitution and its by-laws, ensuring that the constitution and bylaws are up to date and available to all members on YUConnect as soon as possible following amendments to these documents, and will be responsible for confirming volunteer hours on YUConnect.

Why I Joined SWSA: I joined SWSA in order to be a part of the Social Work community and to give back to the social work students. I also joined to act a liaison between the social work students and the School of Social Work.

Fun Facts:

  • I have been sky diving
  • I am a TEA LOVER (like seriously any tea I LOVE)
  • I have a road named after my family
  • I saved lives for a living (I used to be a lifeguard)
  • I also have my hunting license and firearms safety

 Emily Johnson: Events Coordinator

Contact: eventscoordinator.swsa@gmail.com

My Role: As one of the events coordinators my job is to bring some amazing and exciting events to the Social Work Students of York University! In order to do this some of my duties include: being responsible for organization of all Official SWSA events, contacting vendors, venues, and service providers on behalf of SWSA for the purpose of organizing events, for maintaining accurate budgetary and financial information as part of events planning process, working in conjunction with the Finance Coordinator in securing funds for the organization’s events and initiatives as needed and work with the Public Relations Coordinator to draw up a monthly calendar outlining all events executive meetings, general meetings that will be sent out to membership.

Why I Joined SWSA: I have had the honour of being on the executive team since the very beginning. I was brought on at the end of my first year and all of my second year as the VP of Finance for the club. The following year, I was VP of Student Life. Having moved from VP Finance, to VP Student Life, I have learned that my passion are events and bringing people together! I am so excited for this coming year, and meeting everyone at all our killer outings!

If you’re interested in our events, or just want to go for coffee, gimme a shout! I don’t bite… more than twice

Fun Facts:

  • I’ve been to Haiti 3 times, once on a cruise, and another two times for humanitarian work
  • I am completely brain dead before my morning coffee or tea (I am addicted to matcha green tea. Thank you, Teavana)
  • My name in sign language is Sunshine

 Maria Montecalvo: Events Coordinator

Contact: eventscoordinator.swsa@gmail.com
My Role:
 With two events coordinators we are hoping to have the best events possible this year, and I am part of making that happen! Along with Emily I am responsible for the organization of all Official SWSA Events, contacting vendors, venues, and service providers on behalf of SWSA for the purpose of organizing events, for maintaining accurate budgetary and financial information as part of events planning process, working in conjunction with the Finance Coordinator in securing funds for the organization’s events and initiatives as needed and work with the Public Relations Coordinator to draw up a monthly calendar outlining all events executive meetings, general meetings that will be sent out to membership. So for all things event related make sure you contact Emily and I!

Why I Joined SWSA: I wanted to join SWSA as an Event Coordinator because its something I’m good at & something I’m passionate about. I really enjoy connecting with my Social Work peers/friends & its really hard to do so with everyone together. I want to be able to create & plan events for everyone to enjoy. I want to be able to say I helped so-and-so become best friends at (insert name of event here). So here’s to 2016-2017 being full of good company & lots to do! I truly believe we’ve got a wonderful team this year with so much potential!

Fun Facts:

  • I have been performing since I was 3 years old; I sing, dance, act and play guitar
  • I can read an entire book in less than 24 hours
  • I’m Italian & hate pasta (but I do love pizza)
  • I have an Disney obsession

 Stephanie Chan: Administrative Assistant

Contact: membershipcoordinator.swsa@gmail.com

My Role: Administrative Assistant is a new position to this year’s SWSA team, however I am really excited to be taking it on! As an admin assistant I take care of the entire behind the scenes paperwork and documentation for the SWSA team. This includes: Recording the proceedings of all meetings and uploading them promptly to the team, maintaining an appropriate filing system for SWSA correspondence and documents, maintaining the Membership and Active Membership list on YUConnect and the SWSA Google Drive, maintaining an up-to-date record of all members including their names and email addresses and informing Public Relations Coordinator of the list and performing other duties required by the team!

Why I Joined SWSA: I joined SWSA this year as administrative assistant because I wanted to help keep everything organized and become more involved in the social work community. I want to make our social work network closer where everybody feels welcomed and I am very excited for the 2016-2017 year!

Fun Facts:

  • I did humanitarian work in Peru and built a medical centre there
  • I’m from Niagara Falls
  • I like to travel

Ayesha Saleem: Finance Coordinator

Contact: financecoordinator.swsa@gmail.com

My Role: As the Finance Coordinator I am the chief financial officer of the organization which means I am one of two signing authorities of the SWSA bank account. In addition there are some other finance related duties I take care of which includes: being responsible and accountable for all financial transactions, completing of all club funding applications to organizations at York University, for maintaining close communication with the Executive with regards to all financial dealings, ensuring that all financial matters are dealt with in a timely manner and update, maintain, and store the financial documents of SWSA.

Why I Joined SWSA: The reason I choose to join SWSA was due to the great networking opportunity it provided and the chance it gave me to get involved in something I loved. SWSA is a great place to connect and meet with many different types of people and it gives a chance for personal growth. I believe that the skills I will obtain from working with SWSA will aid me through the rest of my life. In addition, SWSA is a student organization that is the voice of York’s social work students and does great works in planning and organizing many different events for the benefits of the students.

 Haniah Khalid: Social Advocacy Coordinator

Contact: socialadvocacy.swsa@gmail.com

My Role: The job of the Social Advocacy coordinator is to develop, plan, and implement all Advocacy and Academic initiatives and campaigns in regards to the Bachelor of Social Work department at York. I work in conjunction with the Events Coordinators, help in the organization of Advocacy and Academic and initiatives and events, in conjunction with the Public Relations Coordinator, develop outreach strategies to promote SWSA’s advocacy initiatives and where possible, will sit on committees within and outside of the School of Social Work to advocate on behalf of the Social Work Student Body.

Why I Joined SWSA: I believe the key to happiness is helping your community grow and flourish. When I began my journey at York, it became my home and the people here became my community. I joined SWSA with the intention of helping my community become the best it can be. But I didn’t stop there. It was my mission to touch and inspire as many areas of student life as possible. So I joined the York Federation of Students as their Food Bank Operations Coordinator, sat on the BSW committee, the Dean’s Advisory Council, and also joined New Opportunities for Innovative Student Engagement (NOISE) as a youth researcher. These positions didn’t just become my job, but they became my outlet- a place for me to make a positive impact on the lives of a few. I personally believe that when you have a strong home, anything is possible. This is why I joined SWSA as their Public Relations Director and eventually became President in my third year. I can’t imagine my life without the community I have nurtured here at York. My mission is to better York and it’s communities everyday and leave behind something spectacular for future generations. I wear York University proudly on my chest and want others to feel the same.

Fun Facts:

  • I am a certified makeup artist
  • I was the hair and makeup lead for the panam parapan am games 2016.
  • I am also a certified security guard (makeup artist or undercover security ..you will never know)
  • I used to compete in public speaking
  • Been in Canada my entire life but still too chicken to go up the CN tower #trueCanadian

Evelyn Lee: Second Year Student Representative

Contact: studentrep.swsa@gmail.com

My Role: As a second year student representative my role involved being the eyes and ears of the SWSA team in the second year community. I represent the voice of the second year students so if you are in second year and there are any questions, comments, or concerns you want brought to the SWSA team then I am the one to speak to! In addition I help out with postering, promoting and at all the SWSA events!

Why I Joined SWSA: Initially, I joined SWSA to get to know more people in social work program and contribute to making a greater community. Now, I just love everyone who I work with and I want to help building good connection between SWSA and my co-students by being a representative!

Fun Facts:

  • I have been a camp director for 3 years
  • I can play violin, piano,flute, and oboe
  • I’ve been to 7 countries

Kiara Osborne-Pimentel: Third Year Student Representative

Contact: studentrep.swsa@gmail.com

My Role: The third year student representative is much like the second year as I sit on the committee as a representative of third year students. My role involves being the voice of the students and bringing all comments, concerns, questions and insights to the SWSA team. I also help out in any way possible at events, promotions, and tabling!

Why I Joined SWSA: I joined SWSA because I have always been apart of extracurricular activities and Student Unions. In University I wanted to find an association where I would be able to express my passion for Social Work with other folks who felt the same way. Im lucky to have finally found that association and I am excited to see what this year brings!

Fun Facts:

  • I love musicals and have been apart of numerous musical productions!
  • I am allergic to red food dye

 Hiba Badar: Third Year Student Representative

Contact: studentrep.swsa@gmail.com

My Role: This year we will have 2 student reps for third year and I am beyond excited to be a part of the team. I will be working with Kiara as well as the other student reps to make sure that the voice of the students is heard! So If you ever want to chat, have anything brought to the executive council or want to get involved feel free to shoot me a message!

Why I Joined SWSA: As a current member of a social action project at the School of Social Work, I have experienced pure awesomeness as perks of belonging to a great team. By being a part of SWSA, I hope to continue to grow with the community of YorkU social work students in year 2016/2017. I am vocal and enjoy having an opinion so why not utilize that to ensure that my peers voices are well heard.

Fun Facts:

  • I have 11 ear studs and yes, they are all  actually pierced.
  • I’m scared of heights but want to skydive #foreverinadilemma
  • If you see me without my coffee tumblr, something is seriously wrong!

Jason Dyck: Fourth Year Student Representative

Contact: studentrep.swsa@gmail.com

My Role: My role as the fourth year rep is to be the voice of the 4th year students. I am here to listen to my peers, make notes on what is going on in the program, and report back to the executive team. I also help out at all events, and do what I can to assist the team. So if there is ever anything you want to discuss or be brought to the committee, or if you just want to say “hello” feel free to contact me!

Why I Joined SWSA: Be the change you want to see in the world!

Fun Facts:

  • I worked as a bee keeper for 1 year
  • I can taste the difference between different brands of ketchup
  • Whenever I get down, I pick myself back up
  • I live off memes and gif’s
  • I enjoy my last name

 Jeanine Farmer: Alumni Student Representative

Contact: studentrep.swsa@gmail.com

My Role: Despite being a graduate of York University as the Alumni Rep I am still involved in the school community. My role is to help out in more of a mentorship position bringing the perspective of myself, and other graduates to the table to better assist the SWSA team. Unlike the other representatives my role does not require being on campus, or helping out with promotions in school, however I do what I can in the alumni community to get the word out on the SWSA team!

Why I Joined SWSA: I initially joined SWSA because of the possibilities it offered to collaborate with other social work students in supporting each other on advocacy and activism initiatives. I also wanted to be able to advocate for the academic interests of BSW students, identifying and addressing any gaps that students were experiencing in the program. I joined the executive team in 2014, and since then have been working alongside all of the amazing SWSA members to achieve these goals.

Fun Facts:

  • I love karaoke, travelling, and meeting new people

Contact Us:

Come visit us at one of our office locations in:

Social Work Department South Ross 860

Founders College Room 121

We love to hear from the students so please feel free to send us a message anytime! You can contact us through our FacebookTwitterInstagram, E-mail (swsa.yorku@gmail.com)

We look forward to hearing from you

Suggestion Box

On behalf of the Social Work Student Association, this Suggestion Box is presented to you. One of the goals of the SWSA is to create a line of communication between the Social Work Student Body and the Faculty whom work in the Social Work Department.

suggestion-boxWe ask that you kindly fill out the online form with any suggestions or ideas that you believe the Social Work Faculty should take into consideration. A hard copy of this form is also available behind the suggestion box at the front desk of the School of Social Work.

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