University counseling services will not hire more counselors despite student petition



A secretary awaits students at the front desk of University Counseling Services. Harsha Chanduplatla/Observer

Adithi Iyengar, Staff Reporter

Despite a recent online student campaign which called for the expansion of University Counseling Services, the Division of Student Affairs has decided not to grant the request to hire more employees.

The Facebook campaign requested that UCS hire two new employees: an assistant to help schedule appointments and a trained counselor who will help with triage and follow-up appointments. The campaign asked students to email Vice President for Student Affairs Lou Stark and explain how the lack of counseling services affected them.

Although Stark decided not to hire any new employees, he did stress that, before the campaign started, UCS had made efforts to expand to accommodate the bigger student population for the upcoming school year. The office turned two part-time employees into full-time employees and added an additional 10 hours to the psychiatry schedule.

According to Stark, CWRU determines how many counselors to have available by using guidelines from the International Association of Counseling Services. IACS says that the minimum staffing ratios should be one full-time counseling staff member for every 1,000 to 1,500 students. The ratio at CWRU is one to 1,043, well within IACS’ recommendations.

“We compare other schools all around the nation to see how we do,” said G. Dean Patterson, Jr., associate vice president for student affairs. “We are pretty good in comparison.”

Despite the fact that no new employees were added, Stark said that he wants to make UCS as accessible as possible to students. He also stressed that students can go to University Health Services if they are unable to get an appointment at UCS.

Stark stressed that, although they are not hiring any new employees currently, that could change as the school continues to grow.