CAPS is getting a much-needed financial boost. Penn State has committed $300,000 to hiring new staff members for its Counseling and Psychological Services after complaints of long wait times for counseling piled up, a short-term solution for the service’s troubles.
Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims said Penn State is renting space off-campus with a two-year lease for the new faculty. This is good news, but $300,000 is not a number that will keep CAPS afloat forever, of course. UPUA President Anand Ganjam said student government will consider a proposal that would enact a student health fee to keep CAPS funded for good. It’s the same idea as the $93 Student Activity Fee, none of which currently goes to CAPS.
“I think health of students is the No. 1 priority,” Ganjam said. “…In an ideal world, the university would pay for this, but it runs on student funds in the first place.” Ganjam said the proposed fee would be around $10.
Students probably don’t want to hear about paying more money right now, considering last week’s tuition increase announcement. But CAPS can be a life-saver, literally. The principle of students paying to sustain such a service is strange, but at least the university just coughed up thousands of its own, too. And it’s worth noting that many other American universities have a student health fee for their respective psychological services. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.