As part of Social Work Month, SWAG held Social Issues Week to raise awareness of pressing issues.
Being aware of the issues facing their clients, and society, is vital for social workers. Since March is Social Work Month, the Social Work Action Gateway (SWAG) decided to host its first annual Social Issues Week March 24–March 28. Each event was an opportunity for students to connect, learn about and discuss pressing issues—human trafficking, substance use and body image—that may impact their future clients
“The best way to be an effective social worker is to walk in [your client’s] shoes,” said Theodora Slone, junior social work major and SWAG secretary.
The week began with the SWAG Chat Tea Party on March 24 and SWAG Game Night on the 25th. These informal events allowed students to mingle, play Social Issues Jeopardy and donate money to Relay for Life.
The first formal event was “Win It or Lose It: I Just Got Trafficked,” on March 26. It was a discussion-based event where students talked about the issue of human trafficking across the world and ways to combat the problem.
A representative from Love146, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending child sex trafficking, was there to facilitate the discussion.
The “Are you Addicted or Naw?” event on March 27 addressed the dangers of substance abuse and driving under the influence. Students played soda pong in which for every successful toss, they had to read a fact about substance abuse.
Then, to simulate drunk driving, students get the chance to drive one of Adelphi’s Department of Public Safety and Transportation’s carts around the quad while wearing vision impairment goggles. Most students found this task to be challenging and were unable to accurately complete the drive.
“Substance abuse is something that, as social workers, we see a lot and raising awareness is important, especially on a college level,” Sara Bonne, junior social work major and SWAG’s public relations director, said.
Students came together one last time for “Barbie Bashing” on March 28. The event encouraged a dialogue about body image issues, and attendees shared their own personal struggles.
“Every night was a completely different experience,” said Mykkia Sledge, junior education major and SWAG president, adding that the different topics discussed “helps [students] decide what area they want to go into [as social workers].”
About 40 undergraduate social work students participated in the week’s events and SWAG plans to host Social Issues Week again next March.
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