Student Testimonials for CUPE 2424

Having access to mental health services has been crucial for me to be successful throughout my post-secondary career, and universities play a huge role in facilitating these connections. The disruptions caused by this labour dispute are anything but “minimal”, and can have potentially devastating consequences for those in crisis. I stand in complete solidarity with Cupe 2424 workers, and I also hope the senior administration at Carleton will take a hard look at themselves in this situation, and decide to do the right thing– for everyone’s sake.

– Sam McEwan, FGPA: Arts and Culture

Carleton can’t say they fully support mental health when they are making our hard-working staff anxious over their wellbeing in years to come. Counselling is a difficult role, and people can’t do that forever – time off with a solid pension is necessary.

– Daniel Patterson (TheoryOfLove Project), B.A Sociology

Everyone deals with mental health and councillors help the student body on how to healthy deal with there health and shows them different avenues the students have to help them while they are at Carleton. Councillors are there for us students and they hear about a wide array of issues in students lives and it’s only fair that they get the pay they deserve and more so because I bet if it weren’t for them there would be either higher drop out rates and lower funds to Carleton or a higher Suicide rate. We need those supports back now but the university doesn’t care about anyone or anything back money. So we should all ban together and push the university to budge.

– Anonymous, Political Science Student

After being diagnosed with a concussion in December and a recurring concussion in January, I suffer from intense migraines, intense light sensitivity, shorten attention span, and minimal concentration and require academic accomadations. I am currently relearning how to attend lectures, take notes, and study as I cannot continue the same way pre-concussion. I am no longer able to access PMC learning strategy services which I need to succeed in my classes.
In addition, as most of my courses use multimedia to teach, my classes have not been as enriching as they could have been. Thus, I am paying Carleton an egregious amount of money for subpar education and health services. The board of governers and the president should be absolutely ashamed. Your employees deserve and have the right to respect, dignity, and THEIR pensions.

– Aprile Jeanette Harrison, FASS: Women’s and Gender Studies

I support Carleton’s CUPE 2424 Members because workers on campus who are dealing with the increased rates of mental illness, be it counsellors, support staff or workers at the PMC deserve good faith bargaining and an administration that values them as much as many of the students who need them do.

I am a student of 4 years at Carleton, have served on the Carleton Board of Governors and have actively engaged members of senior administration on the topic of mental health for years. While other schools like the University of Waterloo increase investment into their counselling and accomodation services, Carleton has continued to hide behind their self-proclaimed monicker of “most accessible school in Canada”, while the interim President refers to students being unable to access mental health services on campus in the weeks leading up to exams as “a minimal disruption”, while taking home a salary well into the six figures.

Enough is enough. President Summerlee and the administration bargaining team need to stop their grandstanding and twisting of facts, and return to the bargaining table with real, fair solutions for their staff. Many students rely on counselling just to be able to attend Carleton, and yet administration and those who choose to remain silent would rather see those students fail, then have workers receive a fair shake.

– Greg Owens, Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Mental Health

My FITA counselor is the reason that I’m considering doing a masters degree when I previously thought I didn’t have what it took. I rely on her weekly for support and now that’s been taken away. I miss her dearly, and I hope that by supporting her pension rights I can give back even a fraction of what she’s given to me by counselling me and teaching me to care for myself.

– Anonymous, Psychology Student

The many services at Carleton have been the main reason why I am still in school today. My counsellor understands what I’ve been through in the past and is able to help me work through that to better my grades and overall health. The accessibility and resources available on campus have helped me tremendously, and the strike has made it harder for me to do well in my classes.

– Breanna Jones, Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Mental Health

If it weren’t for the counselors at Health and Counselling, I might not be alive today. Right now, there could be a number of students feeling the way I did who don’t have access to the help they need. It is ridiculous that the university calls this a “minimal disruption” when lack of access to affordable mental health services could mean loss of academic standing, funds, and even life for some students. When the “alternative” is to seek out private counseling that can cost $200 a session and have waiting lists beyond a year, the lack of counselling available on campus, no matter how temporary, shows an appalling neglect of student needs and wellness.

– Sarah Kealey, Neuroscience Student

Access to counselors and other mental health supports — particularly during demanding times in the semester– is crucial to not only my academic success, but also to my sense of community here at Carleton.

– Shannon Reid, Master of Public Policy and Administration