MSU Counseling Center responds to allegations of long wait times
Amid the recent It’s On Us National Week of Action, sponsored and organized by ASMSU and other student groups on campus , was an allegation put forth by ASMSU officers that the MSU Counseling Center has almost a month-long waiting time for students seeking help with sexual assault.
Scott Becker , acting director of the MSU Counseling Center, offered a different take on the counseling center’s procedures, while not specifically addressing the allegation.
“All students who are seeking counseling regarding a sexual assault are able to be seen for their initial appointment on a same-day, walk-in basis, Monday through Friday, during office hours in the Counseling Center or the Sexual Assault Program,” Becker wrote in an email.
Students can then attend a one-on-one session with a therapist of the MSU Counseling Center Sexual Assault Program . It is the wait between the first and second one-on-one meeting that averages “two to four weeks during the Fall and Spring (sic) semesters, and it is usually shorter during the summer months,” Becker wrote.
The MSU Counseling Center has increased its staffing by five positions in the last five years , because of an “increased demand for services and increased acuity of students’ (sic) presenting concerns” in order to respond to nation-wide trends.
They also have been receiving funds for 27 years from the Department of Justice, who fund two sexual assault therapists and the advocacy coordinator. The program coordinator is funded by MSU.
“Within our current resources, the Counseling Center and the Sexual Assault Program will continue to offer a full array of clinical and outreach services, including a public heath model aimed at primary prevention and wellness programing, combined with an integrated mental health system in close collaboration with Student Health Services and other on- and off-campus mental health providers,” Becker wrote.
ASMSU, in a statement, also said the center was understaffed and had a waiting list of 50 students last year . These are claims which Becker did not confirm, at least for this year.
Though he did not answer if the Counseling Center was actively asking the MSU administration for more funds, or if the center feels overwhelmed by an overstretched waiting center, Becker did conclude that “as the demand for services increases, we are open to increases in our staffing in order to continue to meet students’ needs.”