Sarah Korta, News Writer
SGA Senator for west campus and sophomore biology major Jane Edwards proposed a resolution to Senate on March 31 in support of hiring a female counselor to provide a broader range of counseling options for Samford students.
”I think there are a lot of students on this campus who are facing difficult times or who will face them in the future,” Edwards said.“It will benefit students if Samford provided a broader range of options and availability for counseling.”
At their Tuesday meeting, senators almost unanimously passed the resolution. It will be passed along to the university administration for consideration.
The Senate’s resolution is not a binding decision, but an expression of student desires.
Edwards said that since Samford has a predominantly female student body, it would be beneficial to bring on a female counselor to broaden the counseling options. She said a number of female students have expressed interest in having someone like-minded to speak to, and a group of senators are striving to make it happen.
“I think Samford would really benefit from a female counselor,” sophomore health science major Paige Kimball said. “It could really open up new doors and opportunities for girls to express their feelings and relate to someone who has walked in their shoes.”
While working on the resolution, Edwards contacted university counselor Rich Yoakum and assistant dean for student services and values advocacy Garry Atkins.
She reported to Senate that there is currently a female counseling intern studying under Yoakum, but there has been only speculation on whether she will be brought on full-time. It is also still to be determined whether Samford needs another counselor at all, but Edwards said she received positive reactions from Yoakum and Atkins to the suggestion.
Currently, Samford counseling services are provided with the intention of short-term visits. After a number of visits, Samford works with health professionals in the Birmingham area to find a suitable match for continued counseling.
Atkins did not respond to the Crimson’s interview request. However, Edwards said he told her that the university is currently in search of a female counselor but has not set a deadline for hiring one.