Mental Health at Mudd: Failures & Demands
We’ve made these same demands before and received little substantial change. In light of that, here is a list of the ways in which Mudd has failed to provide adequate mental health support, as well as a list of demands revised in light of these inadequacies.
Mudd’s Disregard of Student Mental Health
1. The college makes a noticeable effort to express support for student mental health only in response to highly traumatic events (i.e. the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the deaths of two students of color on the 5C campuses). Even in these rare instances where mental health support is centered in response to such events, it is often inadequate, short-lasting, and performative.
2. President Klawe disregarded concerns relating to the funding of the Office of Health and Wellness.
3. The college has normalized the egregious idea that it is more reasonable to crowdsource funds from students to support their own mental health services than to expect that the college revise its budget allocations to make certain that every student is adequately supported by mental health services at the college.
4. Following two weeks of students demanding immediate increased institutional support from the faculty in response to issues highlighted by the Wabash Report, the college strategically removed Dean Q (one of the only on-campus sources of support, particularly for marginalized students) from office after the Admitted Students Program weekend to sanitize the image of the college as portrayed to prospective students.
5. The Office of Health & Wellness is severely understaffed and resource-lacking, as its capacity to support the student body has not kept pace with the needs of the college’s increasingly diverse population.
6. The college perpetuates mental health issues by making it necessary for marginalized students to expend time and energy into crafting statements, holding acts of protest, and demanding increased institutional support at the expense of time and energy being devoted towards the college’s rigorous academic curriculum. This cost is compounded by the fact that the college has failed to act quickly or even at all to address the urgent demands and needs of marginalized folks.
1. The hiring of five new mental health counselors housed at Mudd over the 2017-2018 academic year.
a. At least 4 of these hires to occur during the fall 2017 semester.
i. Students should be involved in the hiring process.
b. Counselors must be professionally trained along varying pedagogies, areas of expertise, and identities shared with marginalized students, and specifically trained in supporting marginalized students.
c. At least 3 counselors must be people of color, to reflect the increasing need of health and wellness initiatives at Mudd to reflect and serve its diversifying student body.
2. Increased funding for student mental health services in the amount of a 25% increase each year beginning in the 2017-2018 academic year and ending in the 2021-2022 academic year and a separate fund used to support student mental health services for the remainder of the spring 2017 semester.
3. Full transparency of the DSA budgets (including breakdown by department) over the past decade, sent to students by Friday, April 14th.
4. A swift and immediate release of the results produced from the investigation of Dean Q to students as they become available.
5. An immediate allocation of non-ASHMC funds (ie. funds from the President’s office, DSA, and others) towards supporting affinity groups on campus (BLAM, SPLS, APISPAM, THEY/THEM, PRISM, FEMunion) in the amount of $3000 per group every year beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year.
6. A formal commitment towards creating dedicated spaces for each of the affinity groups (BLAM, SPLS, APISPAM, THEY/THEM, PRISM, FEMunion) in the plans for the new academic building issued by December 2017.
7. Investigation into DSA by an external committee, specifically Dean Jake’s handling of budget distribution and Dean Leslie’s handling of sexual assault cases and other interactions with students.