University Park, IL,
12:21 PM

Two Student Areas Re-Named for Expanded Services

Student Life is now the Center for Student Engagement and Intercultural Programs The Counseling Center is now Counseling and Wellness Center

Even for the most studious students at Governors State University, much of college life takes place outside the classroom. Playing in the student’s minds are thoughts of family, jobs and even their own physical health. And there’s the future students work toward—study abroad, sports or volunteering for a community service project.

To help students balance it all, GSU is taking a fresh approach and reorganizing existing staff to help them succeed.

Starting fall 2019, the former Counseling Center will add health services and become the Counselling and Wellness Center. And the Center for Student Engagement and Intercultural Programs, formerly Student Life, is adding staff and expanding to reach more adult learners.

GSU is part of a nationwide trend to combine health and counseling services in one place, said Erica Wade, Director of the Counseling and Wellness Center. At GSU, the easy accessibility to both is a huge plus for busy students. “You can get all your needs met on campus, so it’s easier to be preventative,” she said.

GSU’s nurse practitioner will be joined by a certified medical assistant, a move that will enable them to serve more students and also to expand access to faculty and staff.

Another new staff member will be the counselor in residence at Prairie Place who can help both students and resident advisors deal with issues as they come up.

Also, students will start doing more peer-to-peer outreach in areas like substance use education and relationship violence protection.

In fact, GSU students come to campus full of life experience they want to incorporate into their studies as well as a desire to explore the world. The Center for Student Engagement and Intercultural Programs helps them do both, said director Robert Clay.

“Engagement is big,” he said. “That’s where involvement meets learning. We help bridge the experience from classes to co-curricular activities. And students have multiple identities beyond GSU, from family member to citizen, and all those things impact them. Engaging with social justice is important because we’re now focused on service learning.”

In expanding, the center will add a staff member to work with the 79 clubs and organizations. A second staffer will handle civic engagement and intercultural education—from leadership conferences to alternative spring break.

What won’t change is attitude.

“We want to be visible, vibrant, and vivacious,” Clay said of the center. “We consider ourselves the heartbeat of the campus.”