TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | Reducing Wait Times for Mental Health Support

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the accessibility and quality of student mental health services continue to be of high interest to the Cornell community. Written recommendations, like those submitted by the student-led Mental Health Taskforce, and ongoing discussions amongst campus stakeholders, like those facilitated by the Coalition on Mental Health, continue to highlight ways in which we can improve services and better support students. A recurring theme is that student demand for counseling services exceeds the possible support Counseling and Psychological Services can provide. While more than 22 percent of Cornell students used CAPS services in the last academic year, CAPS reports that for students seeking individual counseling, they aim to schedule first appointments within two weeks with wait times increasing even further during periods of high demand. The wait to see a counselor for individual counseling is a significant barrier to receiving high-quality care in a timely manner for many students.

Trustee Viewpoint web graphic

TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | Listening, Affirming and Learning

“I want to thank you for sharing. I hear what you’re saying and I want to let you know how that makes me feel.”

I stopped short during my brisk walk to class as I saw two students, staring squarely at each other, maintaining eye contact, affirming one another’s words and exemplifying empathy. From their lanyards and newly purchased Cornell gear, I quickly deduced that these were new members of our community, already taking advantage of what I believe is the most valuable resource on campus — each other. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride and view this as an impact of the Intergroup Dialogue Project. The Intergroup Dialogue Project is an academic initiative grounded in theory and practice that creates community across difference through dialogue.

editorial 10-21

EDITORIAL: To the Trustees

Every fall, members of the Cornell Board of Trustees and the Cornell University Council arrive in Ithaca for a whirlwind weekend of meetings, presentations, speeches and socializing. While we always appreciate the presence of Cornell’s supreme authority on campus, we hope that the trustees and councilmembers seize this brief opportunity to interact as much with the student body as possible, and we hope that the University administration addresses the need to bring trustees in contact with students in unstructured ways. Members of the Board of Trustees have the unenviable task of performing two full-time jobs at once. They are CEOs and managing partners, NBA owners and philanthropists, and for much of the year we understand that Cornell may not be their primary focus. But for these four days, they have the ability to reconnect with their alma mater in a substantive way that too often goes underutilized.