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Last Meeting of 29th Session Calls for Increased Support for UHS Mental Health Resources

Posted: 2023-04-20 08:49:02   Expiration: 2033-04-27 18:49:02

ASM Logo  Associated Students of Madison
  333 East Campus Mall, 4301 Student Activity Center, Madison, WI
  Website:   Phone: 608/265-4ASM   


19 April 2023

Meghan Savaglia, Press Office Director

Last Meeting of 29th Session Calls for Increased Support for UHS Mental Health Resources

MADISON, WI — The Associated Students of Madison Student Council met for the last meeting of the 29th Session to further campus conversation on mental health resources on campus. Additional discussion centered around the Student Sustainability Advisory Committee (SSAC) Goals and Action Report, the Rebecca M. Blank Center for Campus History, and more. 

The Sustainability Committee introduced legislation to support the SSAC’s report on the “Goals and Actions” recommended to the Office of Sustainability surrounding sustainability initiatives on campus. The legislation specifically calls for the university and the Office of Sustainability to work towards the goals outlined in the report. This was passed with unanimous consent. The SSAC Goals and Action Report can be viewed here, and the legislation can be viewed here

Next, the legislation “Give Us A (Mental Health) Break” was introduced by Representative Taryn Hanson. The legislation was brought forward in the wake of recent campus tragedies, and a noted campus community response calling for further mental health resources at the UW-Madison. Many representatives and students present at the meeting shared their personal experiences with UHS Mental Health. 

The ASM Chair Ndemazea Fonkem, speaking in her capacity as an elected representative, stated “Life is sacred, life is precious… we are students, we are people, we are here and we deserve to live our lives… There's 100 students in Smith Hall who will never forget 2 weeks ago. When students die, why do we continue life as normal? No one has told us that it’s right to be sad. The culture of this campus is to just fill your life with other things so you don’t have time to feel sad.”

Outreach Director & Representative Katie Mangus noted that UHS resources are “not advertised well enough” and that there is “huge disparity” between advertising of UHS resources at different academic buildings on campus. 

Anti-Violence Coordinator Landis Varughese added that “UHS has come at this from the lens that students have to fend for themselves…at the end of the day, they say that you can call everyday and somehow spaces will open up. This should not be the reality for students… students should not have to call everyday to receive care when going through a mental health crisis.” 

The legislation outlines recommendations to University Health Services, as well as future sessions of the Associated Students of Madison, on how to provide further resources and assistance to students struggling with mental health. These include procedures to pause campus instruction in the wake of campus tragedies, removing stigma around time-to-graduation rates, to financially aid UHS in expanding mental health resources, expand shared governance surrounding UHS Mental Health Services, and much more. This legislation was passed unanimously, and can be viewed here

Additional legislation was passed titled “Commending Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin for Establishing the Rebecca M. Blank Center for Campus History,” in the wake of the long-term establishment of the Public History Project and ASM’s support of this initiative. This legislation was passed unanimously. 

Shared governance appointments were brought forward by Shared Governance Chair Dominic Zappia, and were approved with unanimous consent. They can be viewed here

Legislation requiring second passages due to bylaw amendments were passed a second time at this Wednesday’s meeting, including Section 1, Section 3 and Section 5 bylaw amendments, as well as the previously proposed Restructuring ASM Leadership. 

The next ASM Student Council meeting, and the first of the 30th session, will be held Monday, April 24th at 6:00 p.m. in the Hearing Room of 333 East Campus Mall Student Activities Center. 


-- Associated Students of Madison: Meghan Savaglia