Maryellen Newton, Staff Writer
The student senate is taking action in order to bring a psychiatrist onto campus. Treasurer Sarah Marriott said the idea originated from senior Jane Edwards. Edwards is the President of You’re Not Alone and has been pushing for a psychiatrist since her freshman year.
After the hiring of a new counselor last year, Edwards believed the counseling center was growing, so she asked Marriott to write the resolution.
Most college campuses have psychiatrists on campus, and now Samford is looking to join them.
Senator Emily Praktish and her committee presented the resolution on Feb. 14, and it passed through the student senate on Feb. 21.
Even though it’s been passed through the student senate, there are more steps the resolution must take before it’s fully implemented because it’s not a bill. Vice President for Senate Nelson Park explained that a resolution is legislation that the student senate doesn’t have the power to enact.
The resolution will head to the faculty senate, but Park said that if it doesn’t pass through, the resolution won’t be hurt.
Another step is for the senators to continue to lobby for the resolution and talk to other people to make it happen, Park said.
Marriott said the psychiatrist would be in health services to aid counseling services and would to be a liaison to help students connect to other psychiatrists in Birmingham.
Though she was unsure of where Samford would find a psychiatrist, Marriott said the resolution mentions bringing someone in who already has a practice in Birmingham.
The psychiatrist would potentially come onto campus one or two days a week and be available by appointment only.
“I think the addition of a psychiatrist to Samford’s Health Services team would truly show our university’s commitment to the overall health of our students,” Praktish said. “I am very excited to see that the student body supports the addition of a psychiatrist and hope that the university can implement this idea as quickly as possible.”