HBCU Schools

Bennett College students protest for better mental health services

Bennett College students say they will not attend classes until mental health resources on campus are improved.

The students of Bennett College staged a sit-in protest on Tuesday in response to the lack of mental health resources provided by the campus.

According to HBCU Pulse, Bennett College failed to hire a new Director of Counseling Service by the promised April 1 deadline. In turn, the college said they would offer virtual counseling sessions, but this information was not adequately disseminated to the student body.

Bennett College mental health

The students were disappointed and in response are choosing not to attend classes until changes are made. In light of the protest, a joint statement regarding the student’s protests and their demands was issued by the 43rd Miss Bennett College Ja’Nylah Johnson and SGA President Zakyha Jones-Walker.

“As a school that prides themselves on Health and Wellness, we as a student body are frustrated, tired, overwhelmed and refuse to continue representing this institution until we have the resources we deserve as women of color at an All women’s HBCU.”

President Suzanna Walsh took the time to attend the sit-in to hear the students’ concerns about mental health. In an interview with WFMY News 2 Walsh says that Bennett College is actively searching for someone to take on the new Director of Counseling Services role along with increased access to in-person counseling for the students.

“We feel really good for what we have plan for the fall. There’s lots of things that are on the list of demands we’re addressing those in the fall but as a student said that’s not good enough, waiting until the fall is not good enough,” Walsh told WFMY News 2. “What are you doing right now and so we are having a meeting right now and I think all of their demands are things that we are looking into.”  

Johnson and the ladies of Bennett gave the college 24-hours to respond to the set demands but the administration failed to do so. In response, another statement including a list of demands was published Thursday morning with a new 24-hour countdown. Until then the protest will continue until changes are made.

mental health
Bennett College students protest for better mental health services
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