CFA activists hold campus events, urge Gov. Brown to sign SB 968

While hundreds of faculty, students, and CSU advocates have written Gov. Brown, urging him to sign critical legislation improving access for students to mental health services, more messages still are needed.

CFA members at Sonoma and Sacramento held events recently to encourage colleagues and others to email the governor and sign SB 968 into law.

SB 968, authored by Sen. Richard Pan, is currently on the governor’s desk and needs his signature. The bill would improve counselor-to-student ratios in the CSU, where currently, ratios are as high as one counselor per 3,000 students. The professional recommended ratio is one counselor per 1,500 students.

On Sept. 13, counselors and faculty teamed up at Sonoma State to hold a “Tissues for Issues” action in the Darwin Quad, where dozens of people sent emails through CFA’s online Take Action tool.

On Tuesday, counseling faculty and Capitol Chapter members gathered in the Library Quad to pass out information about the bill and the need to provide improved access to counseling in the CSU.

“Our students are at risk,” said Margarita Berta-Ávila, CFA Capitol Chapter President and a Professor at Sacramento State. “All of us teaching in the CSU have encountered students who need some help. And when they get that help promptly, they can succeed in our classrooms.  The connection is very direct, all the way to getting more students to graduation.”

The “Tissues for Issues” actions also come on the heels of national Suicide Prevention Week.  In addition to requiring more mental health counselors to serve students on the 23 campuses, SB 968 also calls for the CSU to collect data on suicides among our students.  At the moment, the CSU like most public universities, do not track student suicides, at least not publicly, and accounts are mainly anecdotal.  Nationally, there are reports of an increase in student suicides.

“When we think about suicide prevention, and the increase in suicides among young people, we feel the dire need to tell Governor Brown, ‘Don’t delay,’” Berta-Ávila said. “We want our students to make it, all the way from success in our classrooms, to successful lives after graduation.”

Click here to send a message to Gov. Brown today.