Over the last year, task forces, created in response to white papers on the issues of Sexual Violence and Mental Health on campus, gave recommendations on how to eliminate the issues on Tech’s campus. By the end of the summer, the two independent forces concluded that centralized spaces for these initiatives would help address the current problems on campus. Unfortunately, the wellness initiative soon formed, a conglomerate of these two plans meshed together. What started out as two hopeful white papers has since digressed into an abundance of murky questions.
While many of the details of the initiative have not been fleshed out, and there is apparent efficiency behind merging the two issues into one umbrella initiative, Sexual Violence and Mental Health are two topics different enough and important enough to be addressed separately.
The general idea behind the two plans was to take the resources that Tech currently has and optimize their functionality ,as well as adding more. In contrast, the current Wellness Initiative appears to centralize services into one location while dismissing many of the effective resources Tech already has.
Furthermore, the largest structural change executed was moving the CRC from Student Affairs to Campus Services. Placing this change as a priority over other, arguably more necessary recommendations, creates the perception that the administration places the physical health of students, something not even originally addressed in the white papers, over their mental health. Mixed signals are the opposite of what was called for.
While we understand the Wellness Initiative is not final and many changes are still under discussion, we are wary of the few results we have seen. In the days to come, increased transparency and discussion of potential ideas could only help the Wellness Initiative positively impact the Tech community.