Urgent: Quincy University’s reason for concern
By Kori Kay Obert
The mental health of students on Quincy University’s campus is a serious issue during this time of isolation due to the pandemic. In QU’s attempt to keep its students on campus, they have not offered any breaks for the current fall semester. Many students have been expressing their concerns on the matter.
Some students from out of town have not been able to see their families since early August. One of these students is senior, Noni Updike.
“It has been really hard not being able to see any of my family for months now. This is the longest I’ve gone without seeing them and it has definitely affected my mental health,” Updike said.
Updike says that the thing that helps her the most is being part of the tennis team.
“Even though I haven’t been able to see my family, it is nice that I can at least see my teammates every other day,” Updike said.
QU recently made a change to the upcoming spring semester.
“This semester has already been overwhelming enough without breaks, when I heard they were taking away our spring break, I was very upset,” Marie Kamp said. “I get that they are trying to keep students on campus, but the school needs to take into consideration our sanity too.”
QU does offer mental health help options for students, but with the lack of available counselors at this time, students are not receiving the help promptly. At this time, there is only one on-campus mental health counselor, instead of their usual three. It takes over a month’s wait before a student can sit down and be seen by the counselor.
Due to HIPPA regulations, a student who spoke with the counseling staff wishes to remain anonymous.
“I called in October to talk with a counselor, and they told me it would be over a month before I’d be able to talk with anyone,” the student said. “I think it would have been nice if they at least could have referred me to someone else.”
The overwhelming number of students needing mental help is no issue to push aside. Quincy University needs to take more action now. It is not that the campus does not see the issue, but that they should be doing more.
How can QU change its approach to helping students handle their mental health? One thing they can do is offer more support groups for students going through a hard time. Sometimes the best thing for students is to interact with people going through similar issues.
Another thing QU can do to try to help their students’ mental health is to give at least a few more days off during the semester. Even just one day off in a month’s time can allow a student the break they need.
“This semester I am in five classes and in the past month I have had an assignment due almost every day. Even though I don’t physically have school on the weekends, teachers still have assignments due on those days,” Nicole Lao said. “It just feels like I have no days off to take time for myself.”
There is reason for concern regarding the mental health of college students.
Action from Quincy University is needed for the well-being of those on its campus.