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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Univ must continue to lead in mental health

Published: October 3, 2014
Section: Editorials

In the news section of this week’s Hoot, readers can find two articles about the ways in which the university is seeking to improve its health services, in both the realm of mental health and the realm of insurance and bureaucracy. The Hoot commends the university’s efforts to improve student life, but we do so while recognizing that these actions would not have come about without significant action on the part of the Brandeis student body. Without pressure from students, we can only speculate on the speed and effectiveness that Brandeis would have pursued in making these improvements.

This relates to an issue The Hoot has written on often, that of asking the administration to be more willing to meet Brandeis students halfway on issues that affect them significantly. As the articles “Brandeis fills gaps in health and wellness policies” and “PCC offers new services and counselors” show, students involved with the processes feel that they had to work unreasonably hard to make important gains. Again, we at The Hoot commend the university for making these changes at all, as other universities and colleges often ignore similar concerns.

However, we also urge the university to make such improvements consistently and not only when there is on-campus controversy or outcry. We understand and sympathize with the fact that Brandeis has to please many groups of people, including donors and the board of trustees. But if Brandeis is truly dedicated to its students, it must continue to invest in them, even if students experience complex health issues, physical, mental or financial. Again, as we have argued before, Brandeis should be a safe space for students to learn and grow as individuals and community members. The students of Brandeis have made this argument time and time again, and based on the administration’s actions and greater willingness to collaborate, its members recognize this desire. We only ask that they are not afraid to act on it.