Student Senate Votes New Liaison Positions

 Student Senate recently voted to pass two resolutions written by Chief of Staff, Nora Stocovaz ’25, introducing two new student positions, a Title IX and a Wellness Center liaison. Both resolutions were passed unanimously, 33-0-0.

These positions will be held by senators in the 2023-2024 school year as a trail run to see how the positions work before potentially creating more long term positions in the Student Senate The resolutions state that “Student Senate has received repeated complaints and concerns” regarding the lack of communication between both the Wellness Center and the Title IX office and the Dickinson Community.

The resolution to create a Title IX Liaison is intended to “create a mutually beneficial partnership between the Student Senate and the Title IX Office so both parties may better serve the Dickinson community.”

Student Senator Clara Blackwell ’26 said “I think the new Title IX and Wellness Center Liaisons are going to be really positive to mend the disconnect between the Title IX Office and the Wellness Center and the student body. The Liaisons will be able to bridge the gap between these offices that many students feel by working directly with these offices and disseminating information to Student Senate and students as a whole.”

When discussing the potential for a Wellness Center Liaison, Senator Roland Locke ’25 said that “At the beginning of this year there were so many complaints about the Wellness Center. People were frustrated they couldn’t get therapy appointments, often claiming being waitlisted for many weeks on end.” In an attempt to understand the situation better, Senate held an Open Forum with Lauren Strunk, Executive Director of the Wellness Center, which all students were invited to attend.

At the Open Forum, Strunk addressed rumors regarding wait times for mental health resources, and what resources the Wellness Center had available to students. She went into detail about the longest wait time students have had, and the reasons why there is a waitlist at all. Some of those reasons include very complicated schedules, and requests for a specific therapist.

Locke said “Rumors spreading misinformation had shifted students’ focus away from Wellness Center as a fundamental resource and mis-labeled it as unreliable, and unresponsive. As a Senate, we thought there needed to be more communication from the wellness center quelling internal student misinformation and so, the Wellness center liaison idea was created.”

Locke added that the Title IX office has a “similar stigma, but for a different reason,” and that “the complex process that attempts to fairly compensate victims of sex discrimination is often shrouded in mystery, usually this is to protect the parties involved. However, this often creates a perception of idleness or lack of concern around the Title IX office.”

Recognizing a general need for a student Liaison, First Year Class President, Andrew Garcia ’26, said “A student liaison can help relay information and have a direct link to the offices, which would be useful when issues arise regarding these offices. I get a sense that occasionally there are somewhat negative perspectives of these offices, but more student involvement would be a good step. The only individuals who truly know a Dickinson Student’s perspective is a Dickinson Student.”