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Social Work Student Association

Attention BSW students! Participating in extracurricular activities can often be an overlooked aspect of post-secondary education, yet something that can enrich your overall journey. Whether you’re passionate about student rights and their voices, you wish to network with other Social Work students or faculty, or simply build your resume, the Social Work Students Association (otherwise known as SWSA) is here to help you make the most of your time at York University!

What is SWSA?

SWSA is a student-run volunteer-based organization that is for students, by students. We are the student representatives for the Social Work student body, to the School of Social Work. As an Executive Member of SWSA, students can have an opportunity to participate in and experience Committees in the School of Social Work, which provides another valuable avenue to represent the student voice.

SWSA is an invaluable resource for BSW students. As the name suggests, SWSA is a Social Work centric student organization that works to embody a lot of the core values that are taught in-class, with particular emphasis on critical social work, critical self-reflexivity, anti-oppressive practice, and (self) empowerment.

SWSA is here to work alongside and support the Social Work student body in the following ways:

  • Support students with their transition to university, as well as help them navigate York University by providing mentorship, support and guidance
  • Serve as a bridge of communication between the Social Work students and the School of Social Work, as well as the York Administration
  • Advocate on behalf of Social Work students on matters that are important to them
  • Build community and foster engagement within the Social Work student body
  • Promote the School of Social Work and SWSA to the broader York Community
  • Organize, promote, and plan events and initiatives that support and benefit students
  • Put theory into practice

Our Programs & Initiatives

Mental Health & Wellness Initiative

Our work to address gaps in student mental health support. Three specially designed themes help students feel welcome and supported.

Drop-In Group Support (DIGS)

Fostering community and belonging in our program. DIGS provides a safe and welcoming space for students to relax, share and connect with each other.

Community Navigator Program

Experienced upper-year students helping new students. Connect with a mentor or volunteer to help others.

Meet the Team

SWSA President 22-23 - Anna Long

Anna Long (They/Them)


My name is Anna Long. This is my final year in the BSW program. Before I became president in SWSA, I held the position of vice president for about six months. I’m very excited to work with my team to build partnerships with other social agencies and student clubs this year and support students to smoothly transition into post Covid academic life.

If you could have one superpower today, what would it be, and what would you use it for?

If I had a superpower, I would hope it would be invisibility. I hope to become a simple observer, just like the trees in nature. Although they may not seem to act in any way, they are powerful and have the ability to heal. I hope to combine both my knowledge and understanding of environmental and social justice to promote an environment that is not just beneficial to humans, but to all citizens of the planet.

SWSA Vice President - Samantha Orlans

Samantha Orlans (She/Her)

Co-Vice President

Hi everyone, my name is Samantha (she/her) and I am in my fourth year of study within the social work program! I am looking forward to working with everyone and having an amazing year.

What is the most used emoji on your phone right now?

Right now the most used emoji on my phone is

Would you rather speak all languages or be able to talk with animals?

I’d choose speaking all languages because I only speak English and would love to be able to communicate with more people!

Julissa Alvarez Vargas (She/Her)

Co-Vice President

Hi everyone! I hope this finds you all well! My name is Julissa but I go by Jules. Feel free to call me whatever works best for you.

This year I am the co vice president representing SWSA this year. I’m in my second year of my social work studies & I am aiming to use my social work degree to work as a clinical social worker in eating disorder recovery centres or rehabilitation centres. I’m very passionate about all things social work, and want to utilize this passion in my work as co vice president. I love working with new people, and working together to make effective changes for any given community! 

I’m very much looking forward to working with everyone this year!

SWSA Administrative Assistant - Mashal Nosir

Mashal Nosir (She/Her)

Administrative Assistant

Hi! My name is Mashal and I'm in my 3rd year of the BSW program at York. My areas of interest are mental health advocacy, specifically with immigrant families, women's rights, and environmental justice. Social work to me means community building and community reliance, as opposed to individualism. It means creating safe spaces and accessible resources for all individuals, without there being any barriers or prejudice.

If you could have one superpower today, what would it be, and what would you use it for?

It would be teleportation because commuting in Toronto is exhausting.

Ruby Loñoza-Barbonetti (She/Her)

Community Navigator Coordinator

My name is Ruby Loñoza-Barbonetti (Lo-nyo-zah Bar-bo-net-ti) and I’m in my final year of social work. My passion for social justice led me to pursue social work. By choosing social work, I hope to be able to bear witness to and alleviate suffering for those who are impacted by systemic racism, gender-based violence, poverty and illness. My ultimate goal is to help marginalized individuals and families thrive.

If you could have one superpower today, what would it be, and what would you use it for?

It would be cool to have a superpower like Power Absorption. My plan would be to have fun with it, as well as redistribute those superpowers.

Anjola Adeyemo (She/Her)

Class Representive

My name is Anjola and I am in my third year of study at the BSW program. This is my second year on the SWSA team and I am looking forward to a great year.

If you could have one superpower today, what would it be, and what would you use it for?

I’d love to be able to fly so I can fly to whatever country I want lol.

Astontée Frederick-Pinnock Profile Picture

Ashontée Frederick-Pinnock (She/Her)

Drop-In Group Coordinator

Hello everyone! My name is Ashontée Frederick-Pinnock, my pronouns are she/her and I am a second-year student in the Social Work program! What led me into Social Work was my love for helping others and challenging the systems of oppression. I have a diploma in counseling assaulted women and children, have experience working with adolescents with visible and non-visible disabilities, and working in crisis lines. I hope to positively impact those who I come into contact with while having this position on the SWSA team! It’s my first year working for this team and I am looking forward to making a change alongside these empowering individuals!

Would you rather speak all the languages or be able to talk to animals? I’d love to be able to speak to animals and know what their perspective of life is like. To understand them, engage with them, and work with them to make their lives better as well would be amazing. Looking forward to an amazing school year!

Jasmine Johnson (She/Her)

Public Relations Coordinator

Hey all, I am Jasmine (or Jas) and I am in my fourth year at York’s BSW program. I am also in the certificate program for Black Canadian Studies. I started learning about social work as a career when I was 15 and first introduced to Love146 — an anti child trafficking organization. From there my passion continued to grow and now I am here. This is my second year with SWSA so I hope our team can support our BSW family in as many ways as possible.

Would you rather speak all languages or be able to talk with animals?

I would love to speak all languages! I think language and communication is so important. I also tend to consume various media like shows, movies or books that are in other languages and know certain phrases can get lost in translation or do not have the exact same meaning when converted to English subtitles.