GSS hot topics: Title IX, DACA and a struggling counseling center

GSS hot topics: Title IX, DACA and a struggling counseling center

By Courtney Brown and By Courtney Brown

Title IX was once again a hot topic for senators of Graduate Student Senate, along with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the University’s stretched-thin counseling center.

Here are the main points GSS covered Friday, Sept. 29:

Title IX

To co-chair Alex Solis of the Sexual Assault Task Force, GSS Sen. Theodora Hannan of the Association for Textual and Literary Analysis asked:

“Specifically, the main concern is (about) the threshold of evidence… individual institutions can choose between the thresholds at their discretion. Can you give us some kind of a sense of… which standard the University will (choose)?”

Solis’ response: “As of now, nothing has changed at this institution. We could elevate the threshold of evidence to clear and convincing…(but) things here will continue to be the same. As of now, the standard of threshold will be preponderance of evidence.”

The Counseling Center

The University Counseling Center is essentially “down three full-time people,” Director Garrett Gilmer of the counseling center said. “We’re starting to see 10-12 students a day.”

They’re currently looking for counselors to hire, but until then the number of students seeking counseling has risen.

“I’ve seen an increase in our services every year, every year I’ve been here,” Gilmer said. “Our students are fairly stressed.”

Graduate students want the possibility of walk-in counseling hours for graduate students only, but the director said their request would be impossible until they have more staff.

DACA

The University’s GSS, along with 13 other college graduate student senates across Ohio, submitted a proposed joint letter to Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.

Their stances on DACA were clear in the document’s last paragraph: “We urgently request that Congress move to enact policy in order to prevent our peers from being harmed by the Trump Administration’s action. We will continue to support the DACA program and look forward to working with members of the U.S. Senate and policymakers to ensure that the program retains its viability status.”