Since the loss of beloved Mountaineer Benjamin Pravecek, students have come forth with stories detailing how West Virginia University has let their mental health down.
According to the WVU mission statement, “[the University community commits] to creating a diverse and inclusive culture that advances education, healthcare and prosperity for all…”. Therefore, as students, we have a responsibility to advocate for services that better suit our needs.
For this reason, a protest has been organized for Friday, April 30 at 2:30pm at the Mountainlair Free Speech Zone, and I invite the University community to attend.
The purpose of the protests should not be construed as an attack on the Carruth Center, which provides free short-term mental health services to students. Rather, my hope is the protests will shine a light on what can be done to improve the Carruth Center from a student’s perspective, such as an expansion to include full-time psychiatric care.
Students deserve to have their voices heard, and this protest serves as an outlet. The University administration should be listening. The West Virginia Legislature should be listening.
An expansion of Carruth Center services is warranted, and there are several ways in which this could be done. Students need to keep up the pressure so change is enacted without being tossed under the rug.
Logan Riffey is a second-year undergraduate student studying psychology. He serves in several mental health advocacy positions on campus such as Outreach Coordinator with Active Minds WVU and as a board member with the new Wellness & Mental Health Student Advisory Board.