NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Smith College is making a change to the language it uses, when it comes to its social work school.
They’re changing the name of the Office of Field Education, to the Office of Practicum Learning. A spokesperson for Smith said the college is taking a proactive approach to better reflect the experience of faculty and staff. Instead of “in the field” or “field work”, Smith College is opting to use the term “practicum”, a move they said is “consistent with the guiding principles of the social work profession.”
In recent months, institutions like the University of Southern California have made similar moves. 22News spoke to Smith College students about what they think about the change, Senior Bailey Streeter is on board, “They make a good point saying field being an environment that’s not your own does relate to the fact for many white enslavers the field was the environment that they sent their enslaved people to and so once that connection was made, it made sense,” Streeter says.
However, First-year Ava Finegold said the change is a distraction from the important work being done at the school, “Changes like that are kind of weird when there’s other things that they should be focusing on. I think small stuff like that is kind of irrelevant.” And Sophomore Zoey Fritz-Sherman added Smith should be focusing less on words, and more on action, expressing particular concern over the labor negotiations that unfolded last semester.
“Right now what they need to focusing more on is the treatment of their workers because especially dining and housekeeping, staff are being really mistreated,” says Fritz-Sherman.