The Associated Students of the University of Hawai‘i (ASUH) are taking another swing at getting more funding for mental health services at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
ASUH has passed another resolution calling for more funds for mental health services. This follows a resolution that was passed last year which called for similar action. Nine senators introduced this resolution, but the main introducer was Senator-at-Large David Enriquez.
“This time around, we are requesting the BOR [Board of Regents] to allocate funding for mental health services under the biennium budget proposal,” Enriquez said.
The biennium budget proposal is a proposal for the budget of UH that goes before the state legislature every two years.
The resolution cites a study by the American College Health Association in which data was collected from 137 college and university counseling centers in the U.S. from Fall 2008 to Spring 2016. The study concluded that there was an increase in students reporting depression and “overwhelming anxiety.”
“The ASUH ... requests that the 29th Hawai‘i State Legislature provide sufficient and appropriate funds for [mental health] services,” Enriquez said.
Currently, at the Counseling & Student Development Center, there are 14 staff therapists and psychologists available to faculty and students. Of those 14, nine have PhD’s, two have medical degrees and three have masters degrees.
Other ASUH news
ASUH also passed a bill to fund a survey that will ask students for their opinions on the UPASS and the UPASS fee. The UPASS is a pass that allows students to use the city bus system and each student is charged a $40 fee. $600 was appropriated for the survey.
The funds will be given to the Information Technology Services at UH Mānoa which will be distributing the survey.
The survey will run for two weeks, but the launch date has not been set. Students who participate in the survey will be entered in a drawing for prizes which may include a speaker, a pair of headphones and UH Mānoa bookstore, Starbucks and campus meal point gift cards
$11,650 was also appropriated for ASUH’s third annual “Mahalo Mānoa” which will take place on Nov. 15, 2016. Mahala Mānoa is an event that provides a Thanksgiving celebration for UH Mānoa faculty and students who cannot return home for Thanksgiving. ASUH will also be hosting a food drive at this event for the Hawai‘i Food Bank.
Senator-at-Large Daniel Willis was appointed to be the ASUH delegate on the Student Athletic Fee Committee, a committee in which student delegates give input regarding the $50 athletic fee that all students pay.
Senator Eugene Lao was also appointed to represent ASUH on the Mānoa Assessment Committee, a committee which promotes the assessment of academic practices at UH Mānoa.
Beginning next semester with ASUH’s spring general election, the number of ASUH senate seats for each college at the UH Mānoa will change. Currently, senate seats are allotted based on the number of full-time, classified undergraduates enrolled at each college. A classified student is one who is seeking a degree.
According to Senator Eugene Lao, chair of the internal affairs committee, the reallotting of senate seats is done every three years. It is unclear which colleges will gain senate seats and which ones will lose senate seats.