Students arranged a sit-in to support the Peer Counselors (PCs) this week. Every day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., students alternated between sitting in the atrium of Peirce Dining Hall and in front of Ransom Hall to protest recent proposed changes that would cause the PCs to lose their confidentiality, their 24/7 hotline and their ability to run small mental health groups starting next semester.
While the sit-ins are intended to “make the issue visible, make the issue consistently heard, clear up any doubts [and] show support for our PCs,” they are also an act of solidarity for students struggling with mental illness, student organizer Isa Bird-Muñoz ’18 said.
“The sit-in is complementary to the initiatives that the PC officers have been doing themselves,” Bird-Muñoz said. “The PC group has been talking with the administration for a couple months now. It was a last-resort decision to make this information public and hopefully get the students to care about the issue.”
The sit-in organizers asked students to contribute audio recordings explaining what the PCs mean to them. Right now, the audio recording is about 15 minutes long and plays on repeat out from a wireless speaker next to the sit-in.
Hashtags associated with the protests include #SavethePCs and #NotALiability. (The latter is a reference to the belief that the College is changing the PCs because students with mental illness are a liability.)
The protests will continue from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of Ransom Hall until Friday, April 6.