Student Mental Health Task Force to Submit Policy Recommendations to University

The student-led Mental Health Task Force finalized its list of recommendations to improve Cornell’s mental health services on Sunday, with plans to formally introduce them to the administration and gather signatures from the student body on Monday. The task force recommendations include hiring new counselors and mental health liaisons, new training for resident advisors and university staff, changes to leave of absence policies, and increasing access to off-campus mental health services. 
Since March, the task force has worked to identify possible areas of improvements to Cornell’s mental health services, during which the administration has faced criticism from students and mental health advocacy groups like The Sophie Fund — an advocacy organization founded by the parents of Sophie MacLeod ’14, who committed suicide while on medical leave from Cornell in 2016. In January, President Pollack rejected calls for an independent review of campus mental health services from Susan Hack and Scott MacLeod, founders of The Sophie Fund. At the time, Pollack said that a two-year external review by the JED Foundation and internal reviews of Cornell Health are sufficient audits for its mental health program. Hack and McLeod called the review “plainly insufficient” in a letter to Pollack in August, and repeated its call for an independent task force.

RUSSELL | To My 18-year-old Black Self

Hey man! Big congrats on getting here. I mean that. In a week you’ll forget about how hard you worked to get into a school like this and you’ll just get caught up trying to make it to the next goal, so please just pat yourself on the back while you still have time to reflect. I’m sure you’re proud to surprise your high school guidance counselor who coulda’ sworn you were going to an HBCU.

Latino Summit Empowers Aspiring Leaders

With a theme of “breaking barriers,” the third annual New York State Latino Leadership Summit on Saturday featured prominent alumni, lectures from executives and workshops meant to give attendees tools to overcome obstacles they face as Latinx students at Cornell.

Six Months to Salvation: An Emotional Mission

Reviewing Six Months to Salvation, a documentary directed and written by Lorenzo Benitez, a sophomore at Cornell and staff writer for The Sun, could present a conflict of interests. I reassure my readers, Lorenzo and I have never met. Other than our alma-mater and having read a few of his articles in The Sun, no stifling connection skews my impression of the film. I share the following review as a mostly unbiased audience member. Six Months to Salvation follows a service trip to Thailand where Lorenzo and several other volunteers teach English over a six month period.