After student outcry, Provost Joseph Glover secured permanent funding for eight new mental health counselors.
At Tuesday’s Student Senate meeting, Student Body President Smith Meyers announced the secured funding for eight of the 12 planned new hires.
The Counseling & Wellness Center has been seeking permanent funding for 12 new counselors. The center asked for a student fee raise of 71.4 cents per credit hour, which was denied by the local fee committee Oct. 9.
Though the counselors would still be added with nonpermanent funding, students spoke out at the Oct. 17 Senate meeting about the decision. Meyers said those students helped move the administration to get more permanent funding.
“When they see that many students come together and united behind one goal, to get more mental health counselors on campus, that really grabbed their attention,” Meyers said.
He said he met with Ernesto Escoto, the CWC’s director, and Vice President for Student Affairs David Parrott, who spoke with Glover about the funding’s importance.
Meyers praised Impact Party for their efforts in the funding, saying it was not a bipartisan effort. He then criticized Sen. Zachariah Chou (Inspire, Murphree) for his letter to the editor about the CWC funding published in the Alligator. He said it was poorly researched and mislead students to think resources were cut.
Chou stood up to ask questions, and after some debate, Meyers told Chou he could speak to him in office hours. Chou told Meyers: “Don’t run away.”
Chou said Meyers didn’t understand his letter and what he was conveying.
“I still stand by the article as of this moment,” he said.