ASG recap: changes in CAPS

    This Wednesday, ASG hosted the executive director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and discussed the funding of several student groups and ASG election procedures. The meeting opened with a recap of the progress made by CAPS in the past year.  

    CAPS Executive Director John Dunkle described the ongoing efforts to improve the ability of students and faculty to recognize and respond to potential mental health risks.

    “We are keeping more students in house, when possible,” he said. “For students who require more services, we find resources off-campus.”

    CAPS, which is designed to help students manage the stresses of college life, adopted the Question-Persuade-Refer (QPR) program two years ago to facilitate the well-being of the student body and the Northwestern community as a whole. 

    “Since we started QPR, we’ve trained 1900 students,” Dunkle said. “We have trained all first-year medical students, peer advisers, and community assistants. We are also reaching out to faculty and staff because they are in a position to talk to students.”  

    This academic year has seen a 12 percent increase in requests for services from this time last year. In turn, last year was up 14 percent from the year before. Dunkle called the growth in workload and responsibility a positive step, highlighting programs like the Emotional Intelligence Course in the McCormick School of Engineering.

    After Dunkle’s presentation, the ASG Election Committee presented their plan for this year’s ASG elections, including minor modifications from previous years. 

    The main adjustment for the upcoming elections was to curtail the length of non-verbal campaigning to just the week before the elections. Like last year, the races for four positions – Academic Vice President, Student Life Vice President, Vice President and President – will include debates prior to election day. 

    After the Election Commission concluded its report, senior and president of the Muslim Culturual Student Association (MCSA) Hinasahar Muneeruddin, presented a request for the keystone event of Discover Islam Week. 

    “Our mission is to celebrate the diversity of Muslim cultures,” she said. “Our group has been defined by the politicization of religion, and that politicization has led to racialization.”

    This year, MCSA aims to bring Asifa Quraishi-Landes, a professor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison who specializes in Islamic law and constitutional theory, to deliver a speech. After a discussion of the purposes of funding student groups, ASG voted to allocate $1500 to bring Ms. Quraishi-Landes to speak. 

    Later, ASG granted the Polish-American Student Alliance $650 for Polish Culture Night in March. The event will consist of dinner, followed by a student-produced Polish folk dance. Polonia, the Polish Folk Dance Ensemble of Chicago, will also perform.  


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