Student senators learn about on-campus health resources

BY CORIE LYNN

As October begins, FHSU welcomes back its alumni for homecoming weekend activities. And the Student Government Association modified its Thursday meeting so that its students could also participate in these activities.

The executive staff gave short reports on what they did during the week, which included Vice President Ryan Stanley assisting in a leadership training seminar for the Hays Middle School Student Council.

During this time, President Mark Faber announced that the downtown street sign design contest will open on Oct. 6. Legislative Affairs Director Kendra Clary also announced that students can participate in free legal counseling on Oct. 26.

In addition, the SGA passed two bills, creating a new line item and transferring line items for the Student National Association of Teachers Singing.

The SGA’s focus that evening, however, was on its guest speakers.

Gina Smith and Will Stutterheim, the Director and Assistant Director of Health and Wellness services, joined the student senators to share what FHSU’s health services have to offer.

Prior to this fall, physical and mental health services were located in separate buildings. Now, they are combined on the third floor of the newly-opened Fischli-Wills Center for Student Success.

Smith explained that the Health Center’s counseling services are available to students, faculty and staff.

In addition, they provide accessibility services, educational and wellness events, on-call counseling outside of the Health Center’s hours and online mental health materials through Tiger Thrive.

According to Smith, Tiger Thrive was designed with online students in mind because FHSU’s counselors are not licensed to practice outside the state of Kansas. But through this resource, any FHSU student can use Blackboard to access handouts and videos from their counselors.

Smith told the student senators that the purpose of these mental health services is to “get the resources you need to be successful in classes.”

Stutterheim then explained that the medical services also provide a range of resources to students, including physical examinations, various vaccinations and an on-staff medical doctor.

In addition, students have access to over-the-counter and prescription medications at a reduced price.

“We are very fortunate to have that at our university,” Stutterheim said.

Even though these services are similar to what students would find at a local clinic, Stutterheim told the SGA that the Health Center is different because they focus on students’ needs rather than generating a profit.

The funding that enables this student-focused mission, he explained, comes from the SGA.

“We’re able to branch out and do some creative things to meet students’ needs,” Stutterheim said.

With no further business, the meeting adjourned. The Student Government Association will reconvene at 7:00 p.m. on Oct. 7 in the Robbins Center’s Eagle Hall.

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