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Biggest Takeaways: Faculty Council meets as semester nears its end

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President Hargis

Assuming mental health is only a student issue would be a mistake, Chief Wellness Officer Todd Misener said in Tuesday’s Faculty Council meeting.

The council discussed several issues as this semester draws to a close, including mental health, budget short falls, COVID cases and the petition to recall the mayor and the city council.

Here are the biggest takeaways.

Mental health

Misener addressed the problem of mental health on campus and called staff and faculty to take care of themselves, so they can better help their students.

“The issues are real,” Misener said.

The peak age of suicidal ideation is actually closer to the average age of faculty and staff than it is to the average age of a college student, Misener said. He gave the council several resources and tips to better aid faculty through this trying semester. 

Vice President of Student Affairs, Doug Hallenbeck, commended the work Greek Life students are doing in response to the loss of peers to suicide. 

“It’s pretty touching what they are trying to do and what they are doing,” Hallenbeck said.

Budget Shortfalls/Covid Cases Increase

OSU President Burns Hargis noted the university is struggling with a significant budget shortage. 

Hargis said the university’s appropriation, if inflation adjusted, hasn’t been this low since the 1980’s. He said the university is working to make up for these losses.

Then, Hargis addressed the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Stillwater, which has him concerned. He did make it clear that the increase is not near the previous peak, but it is something to continue monitoring.

“Keep your mask on,” Hargis said.

Recall on Stillwater Mayor and City Council

Petitions were filed recently to “recall the Mayor and the entire City Council” because of its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, specifically in reference to the mask mandate and the limitations put on bars.

Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance, Joe Weaver, did not hold back his distaste for the petitions, noting the City Council and Mayor are all citizens who volunteered to work for the city.

“It's expected they will have enough signatures to get a ballot that we will have to vote on,” Weaver said. “It is really disheartening.”

Weaver told the council to expect to hear more about this issue in the following months.