VP of Student Affairs addresses Counseling Center concerns at town hall

Rhonda Wheeler, News Editor

Vice President of Student Affairs Khalilah Doss answered anonymous faculty questions and took comments from the crowd at the second town hall Nov. 13.

Doss mentioned that Student Affairs is currently working with the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council to address and inclusion concerns and provide workshops, resources and opportunities to discuss issues that arise.

Faculty and staff at the university have been expressing concerns about issues around campus since August.

In order to address these concerns, the Faculty Senate, Administrative Senate and Staff Council have been putting town halls together in order for the university community to allow people to ask questions with certain administration members.

One of the issues faculty expressed concern over was retention at the university. Some barriers for retention include financial issues, students not being ready for college or not having a connection to the institution.

“No one wants to nickel and dime students,” Doss said.

Some of the aims of Student Affairs include clearly defining what “success” means for the students, provide opportunities for students to connect with office programs and people on campus, and focusing on teaching resilience and grit.

97.3% of students enroll at USI after attending orientation, according to Doss.

Doss also addressed the discovery of white supremacy flyers on vehicles in the parking lot on campus Nov. 12.

“I don’t believe in giving voice to hate groups,” she said.

The university is investigating the flyers.

The core values for Student Affairs include service, inclusive, innovation, engage and collaboration. Their website states, “We will collaborate to engage all students in inclusive and innovative ways. We will promote service to our campus, the city of Evansville and our global community.”

Another concern addressed in the town hall was recent issues with the Counseling Center. The average wait time for the Counseling Center is 13 to 19 days, according to Doss. This is compared to Indiana University’s average wait time of 3 weeks.

623 students have seen individual appointments in the Counseling Center since the beginning of the semester. Two students were required to see mandatory counseling. 327 students have attended group counseling and 154 students have been addressed for crisis and follow up procedures.

The university is in the process of getting additional help for the Counseling Center.

Chair of Faculty Senate Kenny Purcell said he thought that the town hall went well.

“I know the faculty here appreciated getting to meet (Doss),” he said. “She’s a great addition to the USI team.”

The Faculty Senate, Administrative Senate and Staff Council are in the process of deciding when the next town hall will be.