Election Stress Relievers on Campus

by, Adrianne Hutto, Staff Writer

As a result of the 2020 election, several organizations on campus including the LWGRC, the Counseling Center, the Office of Student Engagement, and Campus Ministry are offering virtual office hours to help students deal with election-related stress. 

On Wednesday Nov. 4 at 12 p.m. Manhattan College hosted a ‘A Post-Election Interfaith Service,’ on the quad to help students decompress and spend time with their faith after election day. 

The Lasallian Women and Gender Resource Center (LWGRC) hosted an online forum Nov. 5 with Jordan Pascoe, Ph.D. Ashley Cross, Ph.D. and Jonathan Keller, Ph.D. which centered on clarifying details of the election. 

The next day, the LWGRC hosted a “student vent session” led by the center’s student staff. 

“We have suspended programming in order to support and hold space for students in our community in the wake of the election,” said Rabea Ali, a graduate assistant in the LWGRC. “This is a time for support, solidarity, and collective experience, and we are here for you.”

The center is encouraging both in-person and remote students to reach out and take refuge in the center whenever they are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. 

“We invite you to share your worries and experiences, to bring your questions and uncertainties to the faculty & student experts who will be available on our remote sessions, and we offer resources to support you in taking care of your communities,” Ali said. 

In an email sent out by Richard T. Satterlee, Vice President for Student Life, the counseling center was noted as a place where students could seek relief from election-related stress.

The Counseling center offers a number of fully remote resources to students seeking out support. Their student services include individual and group therapy, mental health consultations, and referrals to help students locate mental health services in their community. The center also helps to manage mental health crises on campus and participate in panel discussions and workshops. Currently they are offering meditation and adjustment to college groups. 

“When we meet with students individually we address any issues or difficulties they are having,”  Nicol Zambrano, assistant director of the Counseling Center, said in regards to the election-related stress. “Also, we are always open to forming a group to address a specific need or issue.” 

The Counseling Center’s staff consists of New York State licensed psychologists, social workers and mental health counselors. 

The Office of Student Engagement is another resource available to students seeking out counseling services, particularly for election-related stress. Wednesday Nov. 4 they held the prayer on the quadrangle event to help create a moment of unity for students experiencing anxiety related to the election.

“We’re here to listen and not judge,” John Bennett, the director of Student Engagement, said when asked about the services offered. 

“It’s our job to support students, their values, beliefs, and ideas, and not impose ours,” Bennett said. “We’ve already had our college experience; now we’re here to support you having the experience you want.”

The Office of Student Engagement plans to have more events the week after the election, once the results are known. Including planned panels and discussions and opportunities for students to meet, talk and discuss. The office also encourages students to reach out with panelists they are interested in having come to speak. 

Campus Ministry is also offering office hours both virtually and in person. Hours range from Wednesday through Friday from around 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. They are offering students one-on-one conversations, support, the ability to access and think through information regarding certain topics.

The LWGRC, the Campus Ministry, The Office of Student Engagement, and the Counseling Center are all widely available for students experiencing election-related stress and struggles with mental health in general.