Student Participation in School Governance

School Committees

The following Standing Committees and Working Groups make up the School of Social Work’s governance.

The makeup of these committees may include faculty, staff, students (BSW, MSW and PhD), and community representatives. The committee structure provides an opportunity for the involvement of members of the school in program planning and governance, goal setting and decision-making, and the fulfillment of the mission, goals and objectives of the School.

Committee / Working GroupStudent involvement
Adjudication CommitteeTwo students (BSW, MSW/PhD)
Undergraduate Program CommitteeTwo BSW students (plus an alternate)
Field Education Committee (Practicum)One BSW students and one MSW student
Graduate Executive CommitteeOne to Two MSW students and one PhD student
Research and Ethics CommitteeOne BSW student, one MSW student and one PhD student
Global-Local Community Engagement CommitteeTwo students (BSW, MSW/PhD)
Social Action Social Change Working GroupBSW, MSW and PhD students (no limits on number)
Communication Working GroupBSW, MSW and PhD students (no limits on number)

Student Participation in School Governance

Why Get Involved in the Governance of the School?

Involvement in the governance of the school is an opportunity for you to have a voice in the decision-making of the school and make a difference. Your involvement will ensure that the school is responsive to the needs of students. In addition, it is an opportunity for you to strengthen your skills in negotiating, advocating, effective listening, etc. Participation on a school committee also looks good on your resume.

How Are Students Chosen?

At the beginning of the academic year in early September, the School will send out a call for student members. The call will be sent to the Social Work Students Association and other student groups in the school. The call will also be widely distributed through student listserves (both the BSW and the Graduate listserves), school notice boards and class announcements. Self-nominations are accepted. Normally, a student can only sit on one committee as a voting member but can attend other committee meetings if the mandate of such a committee allows this.

The co-chairs of all committees review all nominations and assign students to committees taking into consideration the need to have different cohorts within programs represented in the schools governance.

School Committees / Working Groups

Adjudication Committee

The purpose of this committee is to evaluate and vote on applications by faculty in the School for candidacy, tenure and/or promotion to higher ranks. The committee only meets when there is an application to consider or when it needs to establish File Preparation committees for applicants. The committee will be meeting in the 2012-2013. Membership includes a minimum of six (6) and a maximum of eight (8) probationary/tenured faculty and two students (one undergraduate, one graduate).

Undergraduate Committee

The purpose of this committee is to consider issues with regard to the relevance of the B.S.W. curriculum to the overall mission of the School as defined in the Mission Statement. The committee provides consultations to the B.S.W. program for any matters related to the undergraduate program. Membership includes representatives from each of the following groups within the School of Social Work: four members from full-time faculty, one administrative assistant and two from students (plus an alternate). Additional members of these groups may attend meetings, but the privilege of voting on committee business will be limited to the identified committee members from each group.

Field Education Committee

The purpose of this Committee is to develop and recommend policies and procedures relating to the Field Placement and provide a forum for each constituency to bring issues and concerns relating to their specific areas relating to the Practicum. Membership include: one B.S.W. student; one M.S.W. student; one Faculty Advisor; three-four full time faculty; and two field instructors. The Field Education Manager, Assistant Field Education Coordinators (BSW and MSW programs) and the Practicum Office Assistant shall also be members of the Practicum Committee. Meetings are held every six weeks, October to June at the School of Social Work. Each meeting will have a duration of approximately one and a half (1.5) to two (2) hours. Meetings will not be scheduled during the months of July and August except under extenuating circumstances.

Graduate Executive Committee

The purpose of this committee is to advise the Graduate Program Director (GPD) on such matters as academic standards and policies, criteria for the appointment of faculty to Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS), recommendations for appointment and reappointment to FGS, etc. The committee determines program principles and standards relating to the graduate program. Membership include: the Graduate Program Director; at least three faculty members who have been appointed to the faculty of graduate studies; between one and two MSW students (preferably selected by the Social Work Association of Graduate Students); and one doctoral student.

The Search Committee

The purpose of this committee is to hire for faculty positions. The Search Committee has a minimum of six tenured stream full-time faculty members including Chair of the Hiring Committees and the AA representative. To assure students’ participation in the search process nominations from faculty, the student association, other students and self nominations can be made to the Director. One delegate and one alternate will be selected from each of the undergraduate and graduate programs and together both programs will have one vote. If a committee member misses more than one interview, they are not permitted to vote. For extenuating circumstances, the presentations of the candidate(s) are audio taped for the unavailable member. For contractually limited appointments, a smaller committee of faculty members including the AA representative and the Deans’ representatives is struck.

Research & Ethics Committee

The purpose of this committee is to promote the importance of research and its ethical practice in the field of social work and in particular past, existing and future research at York University’s School of Social Work. Membership of the committee include: four or more full-time faculty; one Ph.D. student, one M.S.W. (part time or full time) student and one B.S.W. student. Meetings are normally held every six weeks from October to June at the School of Social Work. However, additional meetings will be held for event planning. Each meeting will be approximately one and a half to two hours. Meeting will not be scheduled during the months of July and August except under extenuating circumstances.

Global-Local Community Engagement Committee

The purpose of this committee is to strengthen and maintain the engagement of the School of Social Work with its diversely situated students and communities. The GL-CEC promotes the School’s engagement with, and connection to: Students, faculty and staff within the School of Social Work; The larger York University; Professional bodies relevant to social work education; our local surroundings especially the Black Creek community and York Region; other areas outside Toronto; and the international community. The membership of the GL-CEC will include 14 voting members made up of the following: at least seven faculty members of the School; one staff member of the School; two Social Work students (one graduate and one undergraduate); and five community members (one community member must be an alumnus of one of the School’s programs). The full membership of GL-CEC will meet quarterly – in September, January and May. Working groups of the committee that take on specific activities will meet more regularly as required and will keep the membership updated by email.

Social Action Social Change Working Group

The purpose of the working group is to consider issues related to race, racism and racialization, colonization and Aboriginal communities, sexual and gender identity, homo/lesbo/bi/transphobia, heterosexism; create space for discussing race and racialization, enable supportive peer relationships among students, staff, and faculty; and support consciousness-raising among faculty in relation to race, racism and racialization, colonization and Aboriginal communities, sexual and gender identity, homo/lesbo/bi/transphobia, heterosexism. Membership of the Working Group consists of representatives from each of the following groups within the School of Social Work: BSW and Graduate (MSW, PhD) students, staff and faculty. There is no Working Group membership limit to the number of members of each group. The Working Group will normally meet once a month and additionally when required for event planning.


To self-nominate for one of the committees, please contact gradsowk@yorku.ca.