This week, ESC heard from students in support of Ukraine and discussed a draft of a mental health survey.

The meeting began with a presentation from three students, one of whom is from Ukraine. They asked the council to sign a statement supporting the Ukrainian people in light of the Russian invasion. They also noted that another rally in support of Ukraine would likely take place on campus in the next few days.

The council then reviewed a draft of a mental health survey. The goal of the survey is to gather data that could highlight the need for various initiatives in support of student mental health. The initial discussion touched on phrasing to avoid leading students to certain answers to the questions. The discussion then turned to debates on how best to proceed given the current COVID-19 situation, particularly with respect to a potential pass/fail policy. 

Some council members worried that the COI and admin would be hesitant to approve another pass/fail policy. Two years into the pandemic, some administration members may not see a need for such accommodations. 

Other council members noted the ongoing challenges posed to students’ academic life and mental health by COVID-19. Recordings of classes are inconsistent, and students still rely on these when quarantining. The first two weeks of the semester were online, which added complications. Masks make it hard for some students to hear their professors. Additionally, COVID-19 still places social constraints and stressors on students.

While the council debated how best to write a survey to address these concerns, council members agreed that it would be worthwhile to suggest several different initiatives to support students’ mental health.

The meeting concluded with position updates. Many upcoming events are in the works, from the SEAS Cruise Gala to Senior Dinner to a potential puppy day.

Lerner via Bwog Archives