Social Work Plus, an organization on campus, works within the community to provide resources to people in need. The group also hold events and activities to help students on campus during mid-term and final exam weeks. Social Work Plus in the past has also held events to educate students about topics such as the intersectionality of poverty and oppression.
Social work majors can benefit from the Social Work Plus experience, and other majors can gain experience working with community organizers. This gives members of the organization a unique way to get involved with issues in Pittsburg.
“It’s an organization that’s open to social work majors, but it’s actually open to anybody with an interest in social work,” said Dr. Dory Quinn, associate professor and advisor for Social Work Plus. “Our purpose is to just share the ideals of the social work profession with anybody who’s interested. So, we do activities based on the interests of the students, but also that have a relationship to the field and profession of social work.”
The field of social work contains many parts that intersect with subjects such as sociology and psychology. This means that students often connect social work with other courses they take as part of their general education
“Social work is a really broad area of study, and it connects really well with a lot of other majors. So social work is very interdisciplinary and a lot of what our students are doing, and learning are things from sociology, from psychology, from lots of different areas,” Quinn said.
Dr. Quinn talked about how this broad area study can give non-social work majors skills that they can apply to their majors.
“So, there’s a broad interest in the group for the field of social work, but also in what we do. And I think also because we try and do a variety of activities. Some things that are more focused on our students, but also that are focused on the community and giving back, and I think that can appeal to really any type of student,” Quinn said.
The organization has held some events during the holiday season to help the community and students on campus.
“So, for the holidays we are doing Adopt-A-Child for from the Salvation Army,” said Adriaen Gillespie, senior in social work and president of Social Work Plus. “For that we pick three tags off of the Salvation Army tree and we get the items that the children have asked for. We also do things like boosting morale on campus.”
Social Work Plus worked during mid-terms to provide students with resources to help them take care of their mental health during exams.
“During midterms, we set up some tables and we passed out some fidget gifts and journals and coloring pages and some pamphlets to that talked about self-care to encourage people to take care of themselves while they’re struggling during midterms and finals,” Gillespie said.
Gillespie talked about her reason for joining Social Work Plus.
“I got involved because I’m a social work major and I heard about it through Dory, actually, and I thought that I wanted or I did want to do more and be more involved just in the college community,” Gillespie said.
More information about Social Work Plus can be found on Gorilla Engage.