Students and parents coming to the university for the first time this semester will receive information on many services offered to students. This year brings new initiatives to improve the experiences of students, as well as offerings from existing departments.
â€œThe goal in the big picture is to help enhance the student experience as a whole, especially support for students out of the classroom,â€ said wellness coordinator Katherine Hewitt.
Hewitt fulfills a new position that falls within Counseling Services this year, that of wellness coordinator. The position came about as a part of the strategic plan and aims to improve student performance by aiding student health, wellness and safety. Leading into the semester, Hewitt has spent some time assessing programs offered on campus and learning what can be done to improve them.
One event she will be taking part in during new student orientation, for example, will inform students about sleep, physical activity and nutrition alongside coordinator of health services Jackie Bevilacqua. She will continue to work with existing programs such as Pizza and Pleasure and departments such as Health Services and Athletics throughout the year in order to inform students and others of how to improve their lives and academic performance.
â€œWe want students to know [the] services we offer are here, and that they are free and confidential,â€ associate director of counseling services Richard Reams said. â€œWe have walk-in hours, and students are welcome to call and make an appointment as well.â€
Counseling services offers counseling to students by appointment or during walk-in hours on Mondays from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Halsell Center. The most common concerns addressed with students by counseling services include depression, stress and anxiety. Reams encouraged students to be aware of how they are adjusting to the challenges of being a new student at Trinity and to come to counseling services should they want to speak with a counselor regarding this adjustment. He also encourages students to be aware of whether fellow first years are withdrawn or depressed and said that if students should feel more comfortable waiting with a friend in the waiting room, that coming in together is encouraged. Reams also noted that this year, for the first time, counseling services will employ a psychiatrist on a limited basis. Counseling services offers a screening for depression once each semester.
â€œI deal with non-academic issues, whether [they are] personal, social, emotional or family related,â€ said David Tuttle, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students. â€œIf students feel they are stuck or having trouble, [they can] get in touch with me.â€
Tuttleâ€™s office is located on the second floor of the Coates University Center and can be accessed from the stairs within Coates as well as the stairwell located by Einstein Bros. Bagels. Tuttle invites students to contact him when addressing the above issues, as well as when they are having trouble navigating bureaucracy on campus. Tuttle also brings his dog Sochi to campus in the cooler months to allow students to interact with her. Students may do so when there is a sign beside the stairs next to Einstein Bros. Bagels noting that Sochi is on campus that day. The dean is also present on campus at many events and has regular contact with students and parents.
â€œWe have two residential life coordinators in the first year area, one in the sophomore college and one in the upperclassman area who assist the student staff members [and can be reached in the office] from 9 [a.m.] to 5 p.m,â€ said Melissa Flowers, director of residential life.
The residential life office is located in the Witt Reception Center and can be contacted at extension 7219. First-year students are encouraged to interact with their residential assistants, who are trained by the residential life office and have access to many resources on campus that they can connect students with.
The Student Involvement office is located in the Coates University West Wing and can be reached at extension 7547. The office is home to several coordinators and other individuals involved with student life and organizations on campus. The office is open to students and small student groups and hosts Milk and Cookies with Student Involvement every Thursday afternoon from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.