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Dylan Demonte, Academic Affairs Commissioner of Ohio University's Student Senate talks about events in Walter Hall in Athens, Ohio, Nov. 1, 2023.

Student senate held town hall for health and well-being

On Monday, the student senate held a town hall focusing on how Ohio University supports student health and well-being. 

Presentations were given by the Division of Student Affairs, the Academic Achievement Center, or AAC, and Counseling and Psychological Services. 

Lyn Redington, vice president of student affairs, gave a presentation emphasizing the mission of the division of student affairs.

Starting with the mission statement, although it may change, Redington said that it encapsulates the job of the division of student affairs. 

“We care about all students first-year students, fourth-year students, transfer students, rural, urban, regional students and online. This really is the focus of our efforts,” Redington said.

Redington spoke about the division’s annual budget of $130 million which is allocated to various entities but mainly funds Housing and Residence Life and Culinary Services. 

Redington said that while the budget may seem robust it is not as significant as she would like for it to be. 

“Most of that budget is wrapped up in Housing and Residence Life and Culinary Services, in part because they have the most employees, but also because they have to buy all the food to feed everybody, they have to make sure that our buildings are maintained,” Redington said. 

After Redington concluded, several employees from the AAC gave a shared presentation about different aspects of the center. 

“It’s not a place to exclusively go when a student is having a difficult time in the class, it's a place to maintain high grades, to maintain motivation and achievement,” Kristin Distel, assistant director of academic coaching said. “If a student does maybe need to take off an academic hold, we’re there, we will absolutely support them through that process.”

Other aspects of the AAC discussed included peer tutoring, academic coaching, writing commons and supplemental instruction, or SI, sessions, which are large student group sessions for a specific class. 

“We can say with certainty that here at Ohio University students who attend 10 or more SI sessions this semester, are a whole letter grade better than the students who don't attend,” Meredith David, coordinator of supplemental instruction said. “It really is something that works if you really commit to going.”

The last presentation of the town hall was about OU’s Counseling and Psychological Services, given by Director Paul Castelino.

Castelino emphasized the location of the Counseling and Psychological Services, which is on the third floor of Hudson Health Center. 

Another aspect of the Counseling and Psychological Services that was presented was the core services provided to students. 

Some services include individual counseling, care management, group counseling, Let’s Talk, psychiatric consultation, coping cafe, support spaces and consultation and outreach.

Lastly, Castelino said that students can be in touch with psychological services at any time by calling their office or stopping by for a drop-in appointment. 

“We are really changing the narrative,”  Castelino said. “Students can walk in tomorrow, and see a therapist. Into the Living Learning Center and they don't have to wait. I think we have put a lot of effort into making sure that we meet the needs of our students right away.”


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