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Counseling center hurt by rising enrollment

Brian Velez
LV Life Editor

Students sometimes need a little help coping. But with the University of La Verne’s enrollment glut, the counseling center is among the over-worked and underfunded, programs – with potentially serious consequences.

In previous semesters a student could call or walk in to make an appointment at the counseling center and would be given an appointment on the same day.

Now students who seek counseling are placed on a waiting list and may not hear of an opening for as long as a week.

“We’re bulging at the seams with the number of grad student counselors that we have, there’s very few office hours within the limited space we have in the center” counseling center director Richard Rogers said.

The counseling center currently employs 12 counselors who work an average of 20 hours per week.

Rogers said that even if additional money is provided for new counselors, there is no place for them to see patients because all the counseling rooms are already occupied with counselors seeing students.

“One of the things that’s talked about is the counseling center be relocated to another space on campus where we would have more space,” Rogers said.

“The building, formerly the bookstore, might be a new location for counseling and health services and disabled student services.”

Rogers said that although the former bookstore building has been considered for relocation, some issues have come up.

“There’s also some glitches with the city saying that part of that building has to generate income as it used to with it being the bookstore,” Rogers said.

“There’s no action there and I also don’t know where the money is going to come from to renovate the bookstore to make it compatible for the needs of the health and counseling center.”

Students like senior computer science major Esmeralda Cardenas are not happy with the counseling center’s waiting list. Cardenas said that along with the counseling center many departments did not plan for the increased request for services.

“The school is running low on resources, the space inside the library is really crowded,” Cardenas said. “I don’t even know how it’s going to be during finals.”

“I don’t agree with increased enrollment,” movement and sports science junior Julia Borges said. “People pick La Verne because of its size.”

Fellow junior movement and sports science major A.J. Licon agrees with Borges.

“They need to finish building the west campus before they start letting more students in,” Licon said.

Although most students must be placed on a waiting list the counseling center reserves the first and last hour of the day to ensure they have time for students in crisis mode.

Rogers is currently working on a budget proposal to present to provost Gregory Dewey.

He is unsure whether the problem will be resolved this fall semester or even in spring 2013.

Brian Velez can be reached at brian.velez@laverne.edu.

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