ASG senators heard new legislation relating to mental health and wellness Wednesday night. The bill, sponsored by Medill junior and head of the Wellness Coalition Isabel Schwartz, would encourage Northwestern's Faculty Senate to persuade the University to implement a mental health training program and create a Wellness Advisory Board.
"This is part of having a multi-tiered, complete approach to student wellness," Schwartz said. "We believe this is important given the current climate of mental health on this campus, and faculty and staff are important allies in this."
CAPS reported last year that the primary reason students sought help was to deal with academic stress. In 2013, a CAPS survey also found that 18 percent of Northwestern students had seriously considered suicide during their time at NU. Consequently, the training program, which will be targeted toward professors, teaching assistants and advisors, will teach faculty how to identify and help students in distress. The Wellness Advisory Board will be responsible for guiding the University's progress in a more comprehensive, holistic wellness plan. Faculty Senate will introduce the bill this May.
In addition to the mental health bill, senators also elected four new senators to the Rules Committee. The Rules Committee is responsible for making sure all proposed legislation follows the ASG Code, and for voting in cases of impeachment or disciplinary trials. Senators elected Medill freshman Gabrielle Bienasz, Weinberg freshman Adam Davies, Weinberg junior Freddy Levenson and Communication junior Corey Schwaitzberg to the Rules committee.
Editor's note: This story was updated on April 4 at 12:32 a.m. to clarifiy the goals of the bill in relation to the Faculty Senate. Additionally, this piece formerly said that the Faculty Senate would vote on the bill in May. This is incorrect. Faculty Senate will introduce the bill in May.