The University Counseling Center charges students a $50 fee for a personal counseling session. This fee can be waived for students who demonstrate financial need, and members of the UCC are allowed to direct students to low-cost mental health clinics off campus. But we believe that this cost should not be one that students need to bear on their own.
After the death of Ismail Ginwala, the University needs to reevaluate its position on mental health and eliminating the counseling fees is the best first step.
We understand the University cannot provide free coverage for everything. GW is not a health clinic, and it is not a psychology ward. The University cannot provide every service that students require, but we do believe that UCC counseling is one worth covering.
Even if the University only allots a small number of free one-on-one sessions with students, a single appointment might be enough. Providing free UCC services does not necessarily mean providing students with unlimited sessions, but GW should guarantee a few initial meetings.
The University can’t provide every service for everyone, but it should make the decision to give students free counseling. It’s a cost worth covering.