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Spring Housing Guide

Counseling Center relocation inconvenient for students

The 2010-11 school year at the University is a transitional one. It seems as though nearly every plot of land on the campus is under construction, and many offices and services have relocated in order to make room for new projects.

Most notably, many of the offices that were located in the former Conklin residence hall for the past couple of years, such as the student services offices, have been moved to allow for students to once again live in the building.

The Counseling Center, formerly located in Conklin, is a free service offered for students to talk about the issues in their lives and adapt to the college lifestyle. It has now been moved to the College Park Office Building.

When I discovered this, I actually had to consult the campus map to find out where the building is located, because I hadn’t heard of it.

I found out why I had never heard of it, because it is north of the Greenhouse and every other building on campus — nowhere near any activities on the main campus.

There is absolutely no need for the average student to be that far northwest of campus on a regular basis. The offices in the College Park building are not meant to serve a great deal of people (I don’t mean that to discount their worth) and do not need to be at the center of student activity.

The Counseling Center, however, is a service that can serve any student and is used by plenty of students in its Conklin location. I strongly believe that the decision to move the Counseling Center so far away from student life acts as a disservice to the staff of the center as well as the students who can utilize it.

When the Saddlemire Student Services building was torn down in the summer of 2007, the offices in that building (including the Counseling Center) were moved to Conklin. Due to low enrollment, Conklin was turned into offices to accommodate services in an area on campus that wasn’t too far away from the main parts of the University.

It wasn’t in the middle of campus, but it was reasonably placed so that students could still easily access the offices in a way that wasn’t inconvenient.

Now, the Counseling Center is in a building closer to the Wood County Airport than it is to most of the campus. It isn’t readily accessible by the shuttle service, and if the weather is bad (as it often is in this city), getting to and from the building will be a true nightmare.

No longer is it in a location where students could easily go to a counseling session between classes without hassle. Getting to the building requires plenty of time in one’s schedule, which wasn’t necessary when the center was located in Conklin. It was a quick, five minute walk to Olscamp and other high-traffic buildings on campus.

I wish the University could have realized how essential the Counseling Center is for students and placed it closer to the campus where the students spend a great deal of time. Many students are hesitant as it is to go to the Counseling Center, and placing it so far away will likely further dissuade them from seeing what the center has to offer.

Additionally, even people who have used the service in the past may not be able to make time in their schedule to get out to the center and will no longer schedule appointments.

It was in the Student Services building for a reason, and while I understand the University’s current construction conundrum, I wish that they could have found a place closer on campus for the center.

I am a big supporter of the Counseling Center, and I really think it serves a useful purpose for the student community. It’s a free service and can have a great effect on students, and if students can make time in their schedules I would recommend taking advantage of it.

It’s just a shame that the University couldn’t have placed it in a location that wouldn’t make it so hidden from the students it is there to serve.

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