The Oberlin Review

Repeated Staffing Shortages Reveal Concerning Pattern

Editorial Board

December 6, 2019

 First, it was the Office of Disability Resources in fall 2017. Then, it was the Multicultural Resource Center in fall 2018. Now, the Counseling Center becomes the third office in as many autumns to face resource shortages that directly impact its ability to provide vital student support services. “Office of Disability Resources Faces Staffing Shortage,” read the Review’s Oct. 6, 2017 headline, following the sudden resignation of Isabella Moreno, the office’s former interim director. Moreno cited being tasked with a workload far beyond the capacity of any person to manage as the key reason for her resignation. In an email, Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo asked staff to avoid discussing...

College Strengthens Mental Health Resources

Anisa Curry Vietze and Drew Dansby

November 22, 2019

Editor’s note: This article contains mentions of substance abuse and suicide. Following unusually long wait-times for student appointments this semester, the Counseling Center has hired two part-time interim staff members. During the second week of the fall semester, a Counseling Center employee left and their position remained vacant while the College searched for a qualified candidate. Broader conversations regarding mental health at Oberlin are framed by the College’s first comprehensive mental health survey which was conducted last semester. “We are certainly backed up more than we would like to be at this point,” said John Harshbarger, director of Student Health and Counseling Services. “One way I ...

Administration Neglects Mental Health Needs

Marissa Maxfield, Contributing Writer

February 17, 2017

Psychiatric and counseling services on college campuses typically receive inadequate attention compared to other areas of health care, and Oberlin is no exception. While past disparities can be attributed to the invisibility of mental conditions and suppressive social influence, ignorance is not a viable excuse. It’s time for the institution to stop putting mental health on the backburner. In a Feb. 6 article published by STAT News, Megan Thielking reported a lack of mental health resources on campuses nationwide. From small colleges to major universities, “Students often have to wait weeks just for an initial intake exam to review their symptoms,” Thielking wrote. “The wait to see a psychiatrist who can pre...

The College’s Student Health and Counseling centers, at the bottom right of the photo, are located more than a quarter mile from the central part of campus. Some students and faculty hope the centers will be moved closer to campus.

Students Continue Push for Health Center to Relocate

December 2, 2016

Members of the Student Health Working Group and Student Senate are pushing for the relocation of the Student Health Center and Counseling Center on the capital planning agenda. The request comes on the heels of a petition released by Student Senate’s Student Health Working Group last April that garnered roughly 650 signatures. The petition claimed that the location of the Student Health and the Counseling Centers “prevents these resources from effectively serving students” and asked for...

Communication, Cooperation Needed for Medical Leave Reform

Editorial Board

April 29, 2016

College fifth-year Libby Salemi went on medical leave during the second semester of her first year. After dealing with panic attacks that made it impossible to focus on her studies, she decided to take a break and try to diagnose her disorder. Upon returning to campus for her sophomore year, Salemi was required to attend weekly meetings with an assigned dean. Salemi found the dean apathetic and disinvested in Salemi’s reacclimation to campus. “I would like a person who can walk you through this process and be there for you,” Salemi said. “It’s confusing. It would have been nice to have someone when I returned to campus actually care, not someone who was just hired to do this job.” The end of the semes...

Office Manager Michele Spiroff talks to a student at the Counseling Center. Student Senate is gathering signatures for a petition to move Student Health Services and the Counseling
Center to a more central location on campus.

Petition Proposing Student Health Relocation Circulates Campus

April 29, 2016

In what could be the culmination of a year-long effort, student senators are attempting to rally support for their petition to move Student Health Services and the Counseling Center to a more central location on campus. Student Senate’s Student Health Working Group issued the petition April 18 via Facebook and email. It states that the current location of Student Health Services and the Counseling Center “prevents these resources from effectively serving students.” At press time, 530 students...

Benjamin Shepherd, Photo Editor

Campus Accessibility Services Expand Outreach

March 11, 2016

The Office of Disability Services has implemented two new programs this semester to improve and publicize assistance available for students registered with the office. One of these new programs is Studying Independently Together, Tuesdays in Mudd library. “We have actually started this [within the last week] and are already getting a good response,” said Jane Boomer, director of the Office of Disability Services. Another program, held Thursdays in Stevenson Dining Hall, reserves a room...

Mental Health Initiatives Reveal Where Student Opinion Heard Loudest

Editorial Board

September 4, 2015

Laundry prices and ObieID password changes notwithstanding, few things at Oberlin are as widely maligned as the College’s mental health resource infrastructure. While Student Health Services as a whole receives a significant amount of criticism from students year after year and while the College makes regular efforts to respond in due course, the way Oberlin handles mental health issues seems to consistently receive low marks. These resources are understandingly in high demand, since any environment in which academic pressure and personal stresses collide necessitates an effective outlet for seeking help. In line with the issue’s persistence, Dean of Students Eric Estes’ Aug. 25 email to students — which foc...

Student Senators, College first-year Anjali Kolachalam (left), College junior Rachel Weinstein and College sopho- more Cory Ventresca watch as double-degree sophomore Jeremy Poe (center) presents the Student Health Work- ing Group’s plans for this semester at the Senate plenary last Sunday. The group is working on several initiatives to
improve mental health services on campus.

Working Group Prioritizes Mental Health

February 27, 2015

Members of Student Senate’s Student Health Working Group are pushing for a variety of initiatives this semester to improve the accessibility, visibility and quality of student mental health services, which many feel are not serving their needs. College junior Avalon McKee, co-chair of the Oberlin Mental Health Alliance and member of the Student Health Working Group, said she hopes these initiatives will address both short-term and long-term concerns. “In a lot of our initiatives, we have...

Established 1874.