Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
I just filled out a survey from counseling services regarding on-campus emotional well-being. I’m sure many (if not all) of you received the same email, and a few of you even filled the included survey out. I know it’s often easier to ignore these things, but this type of activity is how MTU decides which areas of campus need more funding. If you ever have the chance again, please take this opportunity to prove just how important it is for our campus to allocate better resources for the mental well-being of students.
This year sucked. I know that some people did really well, learned new things, and basically got a whole new lease on life, all while living through this global pandemic. However, I’d bet that those people are outliers. For the rest of us, living in isolation is just depressing. It goes against some of our most basic human instincts, like the drive to form packs and bond with others. It’s just uncomfortable, and many people are unhappy.
Studies show that anxiety and depression has increased since the beginning of the pandemic. And yet MTU has not taken the necessary steps to ensure the well-being of their students. They’ve sent out emails about how you can apply for counseling, posted cute little self-help ideas on social media, and hosted Husky Hours where you can learn a new skill; however, they haven’t hired more counselors. It would seem, to the average student, that they haven’t actually responded to this increased need in any meaningful way.
We are paying full tuition this semester. We did last semester as well. Full tuition to receive only a fraction of the expected benefits of a college education. Many of us are learning mostly, if not entirely, online, and even though our professors are trying their very best, many of us still have to teach ourselves for the most part. It would seem to me that some of our tuition dollars could be better spent improving an inadequate service that would benefit not only students but staff as well. Do you want your graduates to look back on their time with Michigan Tech and shudder as they remember how terribly they felt while dealing with the stressors associated with both college and life during a global pandemic? Or do you want them to look back, having had access to resources which could drastically change their lives for the better, and smile, knowing that they went to a school that actually gave a shit?
Editor’s note: This article was not written to say that MTU doesn’t care about the mental health and well-being of their students or staff. The goal was to point out the opportunity our university has to improve a seemingly underfunded area. We have an opportunity to do better.