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School Committees and Organizations

Use your voice to make a difference.

School Assembly

Mandate:  

To provide a forum for discussion of particularly large issues (e.g. a major curriculum review or the introduction of a new program) that may benefit from wider dialogue than is provided for through the School's ongoing committees and channels of consultation and discussion. To provide a forum for addressing issues identified by CPAG for focussed study and action. To make recommendations to and advise the Faculty Committee and Director who are accountable to all School constituencies.

Membership:  

All faculty, students, staff and CPAG members and invited guests.

Procedures: 

An Assembly is co-facilitated by a faculty member and a student, designated respectively by the Director and by SWSA. It is convened if one of the School’s constituent groups or a group or coalition of concerned students/faculty/staff considers that it will be valuable.

Undergraduate Studies Committee

Mandate:

To monitor and support the undergraduate program in accordance with the School's philosophy, CASSW standards and University regulations. To engage in planning, curriculum development, admissions and recruitment. To enable and support undergraduate student participation in the life of the School. To make recommendations to and advise the Faculty Committee and Director.

Membership:

4 faculty and 4 students (quorum = 2 and 2). Ex officio: Faculty Field Coordinator, Graduate Program Chair, Director and Administrative Coordinator.

Procedures:

The committee is chaired by Undergraduate Program Chair and usually meets monthly in term-time. The Undergraduate Secretary attends to provide advice and support and to record decisions.

Field Instruction Committee

Mandate:

To monitor and support the field education component of the program. To provide advice and support field instructor training, the developments of field teaching settings and resources, annual field forum. To make recommendations to and advise the Faculty Committee and the Director.


Membership:

3 faculty, 3 students and 3-6 field instructors who serve staggered terms of 3 years in order to represent a range of practice settings. (Quorum is 2,2 and 2). Administrative Coordinator ex-officio.


Procedures:

The committee is chaired by the Faculty Field Coordinator and usually meets monthly during term-time. The Administrative Co-ordinator and Undergraduate Secretary attend for advice and support; the latter takes notes and records decisions.

Graduate Studies Committee

Mandate:

To monitor and support the graduate program in accordance with the School's philosophy, CASSW standards, OCGS requirements and University regulations. To engage in planning and curriculum development. To undertake admissions and recruitment, and from time to time review admissions procedures and practices. To enable and support graduate student participation in the life of the School. To make recommendations to and advise the Faculty Committee and Director.


Membership:

3 faculty and 3 students (1 MSW policy/ 1 MSW practice/ 1 PhD). (Quorum is 2 and 2). Ex officio: Undergraduate Program Chair, Director and Administrative Co-ordinator.

Procedures:

The committee is chaired by Graduate Program Chair and usually meets monthly in term-time. The Graduate Secretary attends for advice and support and to record decisions.

Community Professional Advisory Group

Mandate:

To keep the School current with respect to local needs and issues. To provide a forum for School-Community exchange. To advise on areas requiring development (especially issues or populations that are not sufficiently addressed in the curriculum). To make recommendations to and advise the Faculty Committee and Director.


Membership:

15-20 people, chosen to draw forward a diversity of perspectives and to build and expand the School’s community connections. Membership will include: alumnae, front line and management perspectives in social services, advocacy organizations, current students, field teaching settings, OASW, and faculty (Director, and Undergraduate, Graduate and Field Education Chairs).


Procedures:

Co-chaired by a community representative and the Director, the group convenes to generate feedback and advice at points of review and redirection.

Transformative Social Justice Response Team (TSJRT) - Replaced the Anti-Oppression Education (AOE) Committee

Mandate: 

This Team will take a community engaged approach to responding to social injustices that are emerging on campus and the wider Hamilton community. Our goal is to respond as rapidly as possible to these injustices through a range of processes. These will include social media, writing editorials and op eds; organized panel discussions and lunch and learns; and campus demonstrations, campaigns and protests. We will also consider how social injustices in our school, campus and wider Hamilton community, and our response to these injustices, can facilitate and support the implementation of the School's Statement of Philosophy in curriculum and teaching.

Membership:

Students, Staff, Faculty, Alumni and Community, including representatives from School of Social Work committees related to social justice including Circle of Indigenous Social Work Action, Disability Action Group, Hamilton Mad Students Collective, Queer & Trans, United in Colour and the Social Work Student Collective. 

Procedures: 

Meet in person twice a term and as needed through email, skype or other technological methods when issues arise that require a rapid response.

To connect: email Saara Greene, greenes@mcmaster.ca, Randy Jackson, jacksr3@mcmaster.ca or Ameil Joseph, ameilj@mcmaster.ca

Circle of Indigenous Social Work Action

Mandate:

To support and monitor the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal students, with the goal to reducing barriers to admission, enhancing students' experience in the School and University, and linking with local Aboriginal communities. To support and learn from Aboriginal students experiences of social work education. To make recommendations to and advise the Faculty Committee and Director.

Membership:

Aboriginal students, alumnae and community members, Undergraduate and Graduate Program Chairs and one other faculty member.

Procedures:

Meets at least twice a year and is co-chaired by a faculty member designated by the Director and a community member/ alumnae.

Disability Action Group

Mandate:

We are a McMaster University School of Social Work committee that focuses on creating awareness and greater inclusion of disability issues across the University and in the wider community. We are currently examining the School of Social Work curriculum to increase attention to disability, and to assist students and faculty to develop a better understanding of disability. We are also working with the School of Social Work to enable students who have disabilities to more easily take part in the program. As well, we hope to facilitate the process for students (with and without disability) who have an interest in studying disability to access social work field placements that reflect their interest. We have also worked towards promoting disability by organizing an annual Disability Awareness Day at McMaster University. This all-day event includes art displays, poetry, drama, comedy, short films, information booths, a student panel and guest speakers; all representing a range of disabilities and issues.

Membership:

DAG committee members include students, faculty, and administration with varying experiences of disability.

For information, please contact any of the following members: Ann Fudge Schormans (Chair), (905) 525-9140, x23790, Sandra Preston, Darlene Savoy

Procedures:

The Committee usually meets monthly in term time.

SWQT (Social Work Queer and Trans)

Mandate:

The SWQT (Social Work Queer and Trans) Committee provides a safe space for LGBTQQ (Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Queer & Questioning) social work students, field instructors and faculty to brainstorm, problem-solve and receive and give support.  Over its twelve year history ( formerly called LGBTQQ), it has focused on a variety of activities and issues e.g. networking and mutual support among LGBTQQ students; increasing the visibility of LGBTQQ experience in the School; engaging in activism on LGBTQQ issues in the University, the local community and more widely.  In the year ahead, we hope to gather again and decide where to focus our energies.  

To find out more contact Darlene Savoy

Social Work Student Collective (SWSC) - (formerly MUSSWSA)

Mandate:

The McMaster University School of Social Work Student Collective is an important part of the life of the School. With varied emphasis over time, the Collective identifies representatives to sit on School committees, is involved in student activity in the wider University (through MSU structures) and engages with the community through, speakers series, fund-raising and social action. The Director and the Undergraduate and Graduate Program chairs consult with the Association’s Collective’s steering committee/ officers and vice versa. The School supports the Collective by the provision of office space, supplies, electronic channels of communication, and funds to send a representative to CASWE annual conference.

If you would like to find out more or would like to be involved, please contact the McMaster University School of Social Work Student Association Social Work Student Collective (SWSC).

Contact SWSC

Social Action Committee (SAC), ON Assoc. of Social Workers Hamilton & District Branch

This Committee was formed in 1997 in response to an extreme cutback of 21.6% to social assistance rates in Ontario, by a right-wing government led by Premier Mike Harris. The mission of the SAC is one of advocacy, with governments at all 3 levels, to reduce inequity in our society. The best examples of our successful interventions have been with our provincial and municipal governments.

1. City of Hamilton: In 2006, we pressured Hamilton City Council to return the municipal portion (20%) of a provincial government clawback affecting families living on social assistance. The clawback related to a Child Tax Benefit Supplement that the federal government gave to low-income families. The provincial government clawed back 100% of this benefit from families on social assistance. Eventually, a province-wide campaign convinced the Province to stop the clawback; but our advocacy led to a decision by Hamilton City Council to return their 20% (about $200/year) to families a year earlier.

2. Ontario Government: In 2008, the Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy stopped defining the earnings of post-secondary students as family income, in response to our campaign in partnership with Rosemary Chapman, a Hamilton mother. She was determined to get a university education for her daughters without saddling them government loans. Together we accomplished this, so that post-secondary students no longer have to see their parents lose part of their social assistance because of the student’s earnings.

3. City of Hamilton: In 2014, we convinced the City to use $60,000 of a Provincial grant to fund a monthly Good Food Box (fresh produce worth $15) for single people receiving Ontario Works. This population was, and still is, at least $100 short per month of being able to buy nutritious food. This shortfall is revealed by an annual report from Public Health Services: the Nutritious Food Basket Report estimates the cost of an adequate diet for different family constellations.
The City funded a Pilot Project for 18 months, but decided not to continue it when the funding ran out. By then the SAC was able to access private funding to continue providing the fresh produce (amount increased to $25 worth) to 50-55 single people receiving Ontario Works. This program is ongoing.

4. Ontario Government: Since September 2016, the SAC has been campaigning to promote a private member’s bill, initiated by Paul Miller, NDP MPP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek. This bill would establish a Commission to study the gap between social assistance and the cost of living in different Ontario Communities. We are finally getting responses from the Ministers who have the power to push this bill forward toward legislation.

The SAC meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month (except July and August) from 4:45 to 6:15 p.m. in KTH 306A. At present, we have only one student member, and would welcome more students to help us advocate to reduce poverty in our community. If you would like more information, please contact Sally Palmer, Prof. Emeritus, School of Social Work, at 519-647-3927; e-mail sallypalmer35@gmail.com

United in Colour

We are a group of self-identified students of colour at McMaster University's School of Social Work. We strive to provide support and advocacy for students of colour through a Black Feminist framework. Our Black Feminism is intersectional: Our analysis considers how interlocking systems of oppression and privilege shape our experiences. Our Black Feminism draws directly knowledge from our experiences: Our theory is not abstract and isolated within the academy; our theory is in the flesh. Our Black Feminism fosters the self-definition of people of colour: Black Feminism is used to assist us in naming our realities and determining our own destinies. Activities have included: Peer Support and Advocacy; Educational Resources and Information; Film Screenings, Workshops and Speakers; Building Coalitions. 

Email: unitedincolourmac@gmail.com