Senate discusses student stress
Jessica Merdes | Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Student Senate met Wednesday night to discuss mental health resources and general stress levels of students at Notre Dame. The goal of the conversation was to begin an ongoing dialogue about student experiences with stress and how the university’s resources can better assist the issues.
Student body vice president Matt Devine began the meeting by asking the group in attendance if students are aware of their stress levels and how the levels impact their lives.
The group discussed the stigma that exists when students admit to and seek mental health resources; however, the representatives also noted that the dorms serve as support system for students, giving them friends nearby to talk to about stress.
Kristen Gates, a representative from Walsh Hall, said she thinks the stress levels of students stems from the desire to succeed.
“There is such a high expectation for Notre Dame Students to be extremely involved and excel in academics while holding it all together, but this idea of perfection has negative effects on student stress levels.”
Senate plans on holding three focus groups in the future to further gauge student perception on mental-health resources.
Senate also voted to pursue a discussion with the registrar about the University’s auditing policy, which entails being able to sit in on a class and receive credit without paying for the class.
Student body president Lauren Vidal also presented the State of the Union to the senate. Vidal discussed the senate’s most recent accomplishments, including the O’SNAP program, as well as other goals for the year. Vidal encouraged students to be catalysts of positive change in the campus and the world.
“We must look to a time when we have all already graduated and how our actions now will effect students for generations to come,” she said.