I. Guest Speakers
Denisha Champion, the associate director for programming and prevention for the University Counseling Center (UCC), spoke to the Senate about Mental Health Week. All of the UCC’s services are available to students from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and there is a 24/7 crisis line. The UCC offers both individual and group sessions for students and encourages involvement with the student resources.
Next, Matt Clifford, dean of the Office of Residence Life and Housing and Frank Shelton, director of housing for the Office of Residence Life and Housing, spoke about previous renovations and current plans for renovations. Luter will be significantly remodeled during summer and fall 2020 while Johnson and Bostwick will undergo mold screenings and renovations. Johnson and Bostwick are scheduled to undergo a more intensive renovation in 2021 and 2022, which will introduce more amenities, such as elevators, to the residence halls.
II. Executive Reports
President Mellie Mesfin reported on her meeting with Dean Adam Goldstein regarding the Code of Conduct and her work to include language in syllabi about psychological health.
Speaker of the House Miles Middleton announced that the Bias Reporting Committee will have a meeting about the bias reporting system and how the university can mitigate bias on campus.
Secretary Laura Horton announced that the initiative to bring condoms to residence halls has been approved. The installation of condom dispensers in the residence halls will likely occur within the next few weeks.
Staff Advisor Tim Wilkinson encouraged participation in the Wellbeing Assessment, which was emailed to students on Feb. 23. The assessment provides the university with a better understanding of its students and how to support their needs.
He also shared about the Student Organization Awards of Recognition (SOAR) and said that the SOAR nomination form will be sent out soon.
II. Committee Reports
The Academic Committee shared about the Faculty Appreciation Week event that will be held on March 31 from 2:30 to 5 p.m. in the Green Room for all faculty and staff to attend. The committee also shared that the student-athlete video has finally been completed and can be viewed on the Student Government Instagram.
The Campus Life Committee expressed excitement when announcing that Mental Health Week is next week, running from March 2 to March 6. They have many activities planned, including a petting zoo, cookie making, art and relaxation at WakerSpace, yoga on the quad and puppies in Farrell. There will also be mental health screenings at some of the events to increase awareness and to support students as needed.
Each event will be worth about 200 Link Loot points and there will be prizes involved for participants. The committee hopes that it will be a good week to discuss mental health on campus, and encourages participation from all students.
The Diversity and Inclusion Committee shared about its work on low-income access to study abroad programs, food availability during holiday breaks, textbook affordability and substance-free residence hall initiatives.
The Physical Planning Committee reported on its meeting with Deacon Dining and encouraged all students to send in requests for possible dining additions to Benson University Center. The committee, in partnership with Deacon Dining, wants as much feedback from students as possible before making changes.