Missouri State University’s Student Government Association suggested an $8 student fee addition to help fund two new counselors at Magers Health and Wellness Center, however it may be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Currently, there are 13 counselors at Magers, including graduate students and a part-time employee.
According to the MSU Counseling Center’s 2018-2019 annual report, the counseling center served 1,484 students. The report shows anxiety and depression are some of the main focuses of treatment over the past 10 years.
MSU Student Body President Abillahi Dirie said SGA’s goal is to provide more resources through the counseling center.
Dirie said SGA is still trying to work out the details on their proposal.
“There was a really long waitlist last semester, so we’re just trying to make sure we can implement some things that could give them other opportunities to grow in their counseling turf,” Dirie said.
Last semester, some students had to wait up to a month for counseling sessions. As Magers faced this backlog, they began referring students to other, outside counseling centers.
“There’s data that we have that pinpoints that we do need to increase mental health initiatives on campus,” Dirie said. “We’ve had unfortunate events like students taking their life away over the years, so it is a serious ailment on college campuses in general.”
“Right now, we are just working as a campaign team to encourage students to vote yes,” Dirie said.
Money raised through these student fees would directly fund the counseling center.
Dirie said the $8 fee was estimated based on a professional counselor’s salary.
“Initially, we’d like to recruit diverse applicants to apply so that there is more representation in the counseling center,” Dirie said. “However, we can’t make diverse applicants apply.”
This idea was made before the COVID-19 outbreak, which could decide whether or not it goes to a vote.
"We are still deciding if we want to propose it with all of what is going on right now," Dirie said in an email.
If it goes through, students will be able to vote on the fee addition during the April 1-8 student body elections.