Instruments of Peace Social Work Club provides many opportunities to Franciscan University of Steubenville students, both social work majors and non- social work majors.
“Part of the mission of the club is for the Social Work students to have collegiality and support from one another, as well as to promote advocacy and community service,” said Jerry Jo-Manfred Gilham, a social work professor and the faculty advisor to the Social Work club.
The social work club fulfills this mission by sponsoring events both for social work students and the university community.
“We want to help people understand social work as a profession,” said Gilham. “The social work values are consistent with the Catholic Church’s values, so the club helps students understand how you can be a Catholic and a social worker at the same time.”
Some of the club’s previous activities have included co-hosting events with Students for a Fair Society.
“Both our club and Students for a Fair Society have similar ideas about social justice,” said Jaclyn Schneider, club president. Other activities have been socials for the social work majors to get to know one another. Other events have been community service projects or events raising awareness about social issues.
“Part of what we do is to provide career education for social work majors,” said Schneider. “We had a panel of social workers talking about their jobs and how they got to their positions.”
The social work club provides support to social work majors by having socials.
“It brings the social work majors together,” Schneider said. “It’s a benefit to the younger social work majors to learn about upperclassmen’s experiences with the major, grad school, internship placements, and what you can do after you graduate.”
Emma Giblin, the club’s secretary, added, “The club isn’t segregated by grade and it helps all the students receive encouragement to continue with the program, which can be challenging. It also helps them grow in aspects of being a social worker.”
The club sponsored a tour of Steubenville, Wintersville, and Mingo Junction for social work majors where they learned about different social work agencies and homeless shelters in the area.
One of the events the club hosted for the university community was a talk last semester given by the Rev. Dan Pattee, TOR, about the HHS Mandate. They were the first group to present something on campus on the mandate.
Earlier this semester the club co-hosted a panel on hydraulic fracking with Students for a Fair Society.
Schneider said that every year they have a hunger and homelessness awareness week, which this year was the week of November 12-16. It is something different colleges participate in as well as part of the National Coalition for the Homeless. Last year the week included a homelessness panel of people who had experienced homelessness or had worked with homeless people.
“Last year was our first year doing it and we hope for it to become an annual thing,” said Gilham.
Schneider said that the week of November 5-9 the club teamed up with other organizations like Students for a Fair Society for a Hurricane Sandy relief fund and donated the money collected to Catholic Charities.
The social work club also does and annual tag day, in which members stand on a main road in Wintersville and collects money for Urban Mission Thanksgiving baskets. This year they raised $1000 dollars in their tag day.
The social work club meets every other Friday at 11 a.m. and any interested students are encouraged to contact the social work department for more information.