Forum

Student Government addresses recent Town Hall on stress culture

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Fellow Tartans,

On Monday, Jan. 28th, 300 students, faculty, staff, parents, and community members joined us in Rangos 1 for a Town Hall intended to address Carnegie Mellon culture. The Town Hall, which was hosted by Dean of Student Affairs Gina Casalegno, Vice Provost Amy Burket, and the leaders of student government, was intended to spark conversation amongst its attendees regarding stress, mental health, and well-being at Carnegie Mellon.

The Town Hall was an important first step in what we hope will be a long period of feedback, reflection, and eventual change. We were overjoyed to see so many members of our community and administrators come together to express their concern regarding these important issues.

We wanted to quickly mention a few of the larger issues that we identified from the discussion that occurred at the Town Hall. In the next couple of months, we will be working hard to gather more information and hopefully make some progress on issues related to how we define success, extracurricular involvement on campus, professional development, stress and time management, general student well-being and recreational activity, preparation for incoming freshmen, health services, and the stigmas regarding mental health in our community. While this scope is broad, we feel that there is a great energy on campus dedicated to addressing these issues, and we can serve as a central point to coordinate the multiple efforts to solve these problems.

That being said, one of the most important points we were able to extract from the conversations that were had at the Town Hall is that these conversations need to continue. We are very interested in working to develop some kind of system to increase feedback and conversation similar to what was experienced during the Town Hall — whether it be more Town Halls, some sort of online forum, or both.

We have been so excited by the amount of enthusiasm surrounding the Town Hall and the dedication students are showing to find solutions post-conversation. One thing we want to stress to the Carnegie Mellon community is that we will be able to achieve more if we work together. If you are an individual or involved in a group that has ideas regarding these topics or is currently planning a project or plan that helps tackle any of these issues, please contact us. We want to help you in your endeavors, connect you to resources as well as gain a holistic perspective on all the efforts on campus as we work to tackle this issue together. The enthusiasm regarding these issues is incredibly exciting, but it can also become chaotic at times — we want to ensure that groups are not overlapping in their initiatives or programs.

In the next couple of weeks, we will be ironing out the details of our proposed solutions. Please feel free to contact us at sbp@andrew.cmu.edu or sbvp@andrew.cmu.edu if you are at all interested in participating or have feedback.