SGC discusses mental health, emergency notifications and APP

La Jerne Cornish, Acting President of Ithaca College, met with the Student Governance Council (SGC) and discussed concerns about mental health, emergency notification systems, and academic program prioritization (APP) at their meeting November 15.

Cornish noted she wanted to focus on three words for the 2021-2022 academic year: intentionality, connection and attention. She also said she wanted to hear what SGC members had to say and what they wanted to discuss.

“Let’s be intentional about what we do, what we say, what we think,” Cornish said. “Let’s connect with each other. There are too many people walking around and not feeling connected. … If we can be intentional, if we can connect and care, we can be a better institution.

Junior Connor Watson, international student and former SGC vsthief of staff, wanted to draw Cornish’s attention to the fact that the fall semester has been difficult for many students.

“I feel like sanity is at everythinglow times right now, ”Watson said. “I think this transition to all in person, idealistic as it may sound, has been very difficult for many people for many different reasons, mentally, emotionally, physically.”

Cornish said if students find they need a break, they should let their teachers know so they can focus on their well-being.

“Not only can we recognize [students struggling], but we also need our students, faculty and staff to recognize it, ”said Cornish. “When you need a time out, raise your hand and say, ‘I need a minute, I need a break’. Let someone know, and we’re ready to listen because we care about ourselves, but we can’t help if we don’t know.

According to reports from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in four young adults aged 18 to 24 has a diagnosable mental illness, and over 25% of students have been diagnosed or treated by a mental health professional for a mental health problem in the past. last year.

Freshman Paloma La Valley, VSSenator from the Class of 2025, reiterated the issue of mental health, especially regarding the effect the transition to college had on the class of 2025.

“I spoke with my constituents, I heard a lot of very unfortunate stories about the lack of support from teachers when it comes to the physical and mental health of students,” La Valley said. “A lot of [teachers] were not very accommodating.

Cornish noted the majority of professors are accommodating and able to help when students contact them.

“As for the teachers who don’t care… I’ll say the majority of them care,” said Cornish “… If you [are not accommodated], know a student who has had this experience, I would encourage that student to contact the assistant dean of that particular school, and even contact a dean of that particular school.

Sophomore James Zampetti, vice president of communications, said he wanted to know if there was a way for clearer communication between the Cornell University Police Ddepartment and Public Security Bureau of Ithaca College following the bomb threatens at Cornell and active shooter in Cayuga Heights during the week of November 8.

Cornish said the lines of communication between the two campuses are strong, but because the bomb threat was located on the Cornell campus, Ithaca College did not deem it necessary to notify the student body. Cornish said that because it was located in the Cornell area, it did not affect the Ithaca College community.

Cornish said that because there were students and faculty from Ithaca College living in Cayuga Heights, on Active Shooter Day, the college sent an emergency notification.

“I’m going to use the phrase ‘need to know’,” said Cornish. “And when we have to know, we make sure to inform our students as it is important that everyone knows what is going on.

La Valley asked Cornish if the college was willing to work on creating a hybrid model for education. Cornish said the college has made the decision to be fully in person and plans to maintain that position for the foreseeable future.

In the spring of 2021, the college was operating in a hybrid fashion, running online and in-person courses with 1,143 hybrid classes this semester.

La Valley said it is currently working on a model hybrid education bill to bring both in-person and virtual education into classrooms to allow sick students to maintain their presence in the classroom.

Junior Tessa Kurtz, a senator for the School of Health and Human Performance Sciences, said some of her constituents were interested in more interconnection between all of the individual schools with each other., and that it is difficult to interact with people from different schools.

Cornish said one of the college’s strategic planning goals is to increase the flexibility of the program and provide a college-wide schedule to make it easier for students to take classes at all schools. . Cornish said the college is currently in the third year of the strategic plan. The college is now in the second phase of the APP, which focuses on academic restructuring.

Junior Lila Weiser, SenatorTotall, asked Cornish why college is merge the Department of Theater Arts with the School of Music and what is the timing of the merger. The theater department is currently part of the School of Humanities.

Cornish noted conversations are still going on between the theater faculty and the music faculty to determine how the merger will work. Cornish said there are more similarities between theater and music in terms of curriculum than there are between theater and the humanities and sciences.

Cornish said the college should have a clearer idea of ​​the timing of the merger by spring.

Freshman Vincent Tavernese, Sschool of MSenator usic, said some of the graduate music programs had been suspended under the APP and wanted to know if any of them would return.

Cornish noted Christina Moylan, Associate Vice-President Graduate and Professional Studies, is working with the music department to think about ways to restart some of the music school’s graduate programs.

“The beautiful thing about hanging is that when you hang something you have the ability to rate it and then you can bring back something new or better that is stronger, more affordable and more durable,” said Cornish.


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