Student Organizations & Groups
Through student organizations and groups, the intellectual experience of students is broadened to encompass ideas which enrich and extend the Smith curriculum.
- Student Org
- Council for Students of Color
- Community in Support of Those Who Serve & Sacrifice
- Students Impacted by Ableism (formerly Disability Awareness Group)
- Gender & Sexuality Alliance (The Alliance)
- Holistic Healing Group
- Jewish Student Alliance
- Living Subjectively
- Meditation Group
- Men at Smith
- Students with Children
- The Social Welfare Action Alliance
- Spanish Speaking Clinicians
- Los Hispanoablantes Clìnicos
- Unlearning Racism Group
- Support Groups
Student Org is the central, elected, organizing body for students at the School for Social Work. It has several functions that have developed through the years and has a commitment and ability to respond to the changing needs of Smith students.
Student Org’s established roles include providing student representation and input into all aspects of the school, taking an active role in shaping school policies and procedures, organizing extracurricular activities, both social and intellectual, providing a forum within which all groups and special interests of the student body can be heard, and working together to share and allocate resources.
The Council for Students of Color extends membership to all students of color. The council was founded to acknowledge and support minority students’ experiences at Smith. It raises issues relevant to the total Smith community concerning the relationship of race and clinical practice, and plans an annual symposium on these issues. The council is dedicated to the training of social workers better able to meet the needs of the minority community.
Council for Students of Color Leadership
Formerly the Disability Awareness Group
The Students Impacted by Ableism group strives to promote awareness, education and support around ableism and issues of impairment and disability, on campus and in the field, for students, faculty and staff. The group is open to the entire School for Social Work. We are made up of people with disabilities; friends, allies and family members of people with disabilities; and allies and persons of Deaf culture.
Neither disclosure of a disability nor identifying as having a disability is necessary to participate in this group.
We recognize that individuals impacted by ableism constitute a diverse community made up of people with visual impairments, psychiatric disabilities, chronic health issues, HIV+ status, hearing impairments, developmental disabilities and cognitive impairments. We also see ourselves in alliance with the Deaf community. The group’s goal of social justice, civil and economic rights and inclusion for persons with disabilities are part of the school’s anti-racism mission, which honors experiences of internalized oppression.
The Gender and Sexuality Alliance is a group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and fluid individuals and their allies at SSW. Their priorities are building community, learning from each other, and creating constructive action and dialogue at Smith. Alliance members seek to facilitate more intersectionality between students groups on the Smith SSW campus in hopes of providing an open, accepting and engaging environment for all.
The Gender & Sexuality Alliance Task Force includes all those who hold an executive position in the Gender and Sexuality Alliance. The Task Force meetings also welcome those wanting to hold an executive position in the Gender & Sexuality Alliance in the future. The Task Force is responsible for planning general meetings and events throughout the summer and during the field internship periods.
Do you believe in a clinical approach that encompasses all aspects of a person’s health, including physical, psychological, spiritual, social, economic and cultural factors? Are you interested in exploring alternative and culturally relevant forms of healing beyond the scope of the Western biomedical paradigm? Maybe you’re a healer yourself or looking to gain skills and knowledge? The Holistic Healing Group explores holistic healing and discusses ways to integrate it into clinical social work practice. No experience or prior knowledge is necessary. All students are welcome.
The Jewish Students Alliance embraces a full spectrum of Jewish experiences and identity, from those with a strong religious background, to those for whom being Jewish is important culturally, to those with little knowledge about being Jewish, and to those students who wish to connect with an aspect of Judiasm. The group meets weekly for an informal discussion on a topic related to being Jewish, and to plan events that including speakers and community-building activities.
Living Subjectively is a community and collective open to any current Smith SSW student to engage continuously with unlearning the effects of a culture of sexism and misogyny as they have impacted people of all genders and across many intersections of identity.
Living Subjectively empowers and challenges members to grow in their sense of “grounded authenticity,” to relax into both vulnerability and conflict, to cultivate an understanding of and appreciation for ourselves and others in all our complexity and to seek out uncertainty and sit with discomfort as a means of learning more about ourselves and the world.
The SSW Meditation Group is a welcoming group for anyone who wants to meditate, whether you already have a meditation practice and are looking for community to sit with, or you have never meditated and want to try it. The group offers instruction as needed.
The Men’s Group is offered to support all men at Smith SSW, a predominately female environment. The group functions as an open, welcoming group where men can come to have their voices heard and to listen to their male classmates. The group meets weekly and the format is open, with no agenda or specific focus other than community building and mutual support.
Students with Children focuses on the challenges of being a full-time student while also being a caretaker of children. The group provides a forum to exchange information concerning daycare, camps, and other child-oriented services in the Northampton area. They meet weekly to exchange information, share experiences and provide mutual support. Students with Children plans activities for students and their children during the summer. They may also plan educational actions for the Smith community on issues that affect parents and children in this country.
The Social Welfare Action Alliance is a national organization of hundreds of progressive social workers. The alliance promotes the study and practice of the progressive tradition in social welfare and social work. It is committed to further communication, cooperative support and collaboration between and among social work practitioners, social service workers, scholars and clients, thereby reducing the gap between theory and practice. Members strive to develop agendas for alternative social policies aimed at incremental and fundamental social change.
Smith SSW Spanish Speaking Clinicians is a group for any student or member of the SSW community who is fluent in Spanish and uses the language in their clinical field internships. This group meets weekly during the SSW summer to enjoy food, share stories, discuss clinical questions, and support one another through the English only structure of the SSW program. The group speaks exclusively in Spanish during meetings. All who identify as Spanish speakers are welcome.
Los Hispanohablantes Clìnicos de Smith SSW es un grupo para cualquier estudiante o miembro de la comunidad del SSW que habla español con fluidez y usa el idioma en su trabajo del campo. Este grupo se reúne seminal durante el verano del SSW para almorzar, compartir historias y discutir preguntas clìnicas, y apoyar a cada persona en un programa que solo enseña en ingles. El grupo se habla español exclusivamente cuando se reúne. Todos que se identifìcan como Hispanohablantes están bienvenidos.
Unlearning Racism meetings are a weekly student-led open space to build skills for a personal and collaborative practice of anti-racism and accountability, especially for students who benefit from white privilege. Unlearning Racism meetings are also an opportunity to process and learn from experiences of harm in the classroom, and to move with these stories to a place of solidarity with our colleagues of color.
Every summer, students develop a number of support groups and interest groups such as twelve-step programs, a working class support group, children of adoption and a support group for friends and family members of persons with HIV/AIDS.