Week 04 – Lab + Reading Response

  1. The Latinx Resilience Network is a mental health support and educational network for Latinx students at the University of Illinois. It educates students and faculty about mental health awareness and resources, trains students to be peer coordinators and listeners, and fosters Latinx success on campus. This happens through a Latinx Resilience Certificate Workshops or through taking LLS 396: Latinx Mental Health Topics. The network itself officially began in Spring 2014 after more than a year of discussions, and it was created with the support of Veronica M. Kann (Assistant Director of La Casa Cultural Latina) and Alicia P. Rodriguez (Associate Director of the Department of Latina/Latino Studies), along with support from a Strategic Initiative Grant from Student Affairs.
  2. In order to get institutional support, the program founders had to prove that there was a pressing need for Latinx students specifically to receive and give mental health support through a program such as this and that students would likely support it if it were to exist. It rose through the identification, likely through interviews and surveys, that many Latinx students face additional challenges and stress before and when going to college through the increased pressure of more responsibilities, such as translation and paying the bills, or of coming from cultures that stigmatized mental health and underserved schools that could not support them. Through historical documents, it can be seen that UIUC remains a predominantly white institution, and many URM feel pressure that they were only accepted out of “affirmative action,” while remaining perfectly capable as is. 
  3. Research: 
    1. Archives: Document that shows that Latinx historically have tended to come from underserved schools that did not have the resources to teach them how to identify such challenges and that their cultures tend to stigmatize it. Document that shows the relationship between mental health resources and the affluence of a school. 
    2. Interviews: Talk to Latinx students about mental health and its position or disregard in Latinx culture. Talk about the struggles and familial pressures they had growing up and in culture and how they tried to address them.
      1. What is your experience with mental health challenges?
      2. How do your family and culture view mental health?
      3. Who do you go to for help?
    3. Survey Design:
      1. What percentage of students at the University of Illinois identify as Latinx?
        1. 2.4%
        2. 4.5%
        3. 6.3%
        4. 8.1%
        5. 9.3%
        6. 11.5%
        7. 13.2%
      2. Do you receive mental health services from a campus resource?
        1. Yes, I receive help from The Counseling Center.
        2. Yes, I receive help from McKinley Health Center.
        3. Yes, I receive help from DRES.
        4. Yes, I receive help from some combination of the above.
        5. No, I used to receive help from one of those resources, but I no longer continue to do so.
        6. No, I receive off-campus help.
        7. No, I do not receive mental health services.
      3. Do you think the University of Illinois should support a mental health support and educational network for Latinx students at the University of Illinois?
        1. Strongly disagree
        2. Partially disagree
        3. Slightly disagree
        4. Neutral
        5. Slightly favor
        6. Partially favor
        7. Strongly favor
  4. This program has likely faced challenges in funding, because naturally many mental health resources and programs for minority students lack funding. They would also have to prove that this program warrants a unique enough cause and situation so that it would not be a part of a broader university effort rather than be Latinx focused. It does not indicate anyone being opposed to it, but definitely student and faculty support and awareness throughout the years is necessary so that it remains warranted and funded. It also tip-toes around other on-campus mental health resources, so faculty and students had to prove that those were not enough to address mental health among Latinx students.
  5. The other needs that are unaddressed is that the program innately puts a lot of pressure onto Latinx students to seek out and become the peer mental health facilitators and listeners for their friends. This may be favorable, because a lot of times, people choose to turn to their friends at odd hours of the day or simply trust their friends more. However, this largely ignores the fact that the University generally does not support any of their students enough, Latinx or not, through current mental health resources, and the program seems to be the impetus on students to be the change when a lot of times, their peers even through certificate workshops and taking a class may not know enough as a trained and devoted mental health professional. Especially on Latinx students, the program may be used as justification that Latinx students are receiving enough help when it also puts the burden on students to take their workshops and classes even if they may not have time to do so. In general, providing grander mental health resources and support for all of campus through trained and full-time professionals would probably do the most help, though that takes a lot of funding that the University is not ready to address.

Reading Response

Throughout the 1960s and especially in its latter half, there were a series of social movements occurring throughout the United States and world. At UIUC itself, a lot of student activism support was present in The Daily Illini publications, as it sought to popularize and normalize such movements. The formation of key clubs such as the Dubois Club, Students for a Democratic Society, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee all trumpeted and pressed for reform and change. As well, the campus president at the time, while initially dismissive, would meet with the faculty senate in order to finally recognize the DuBois Club (Metz 78). Internationally, men and women independently tried to overcome the barrier of societal’s norms for gender expression as it relates to power. While many men challenged patriarchal power, women challenged the patriarchy and gender hierarchy itself (Evans 338). Politically, many Americans were scared of the threat of communism and socialism, which is why they were ardently opposed to the W.E.B. DuBois Club as its namesake was well-known as a Stalinist communist (Metz 39). Finally, barriers concerning free speech at UIUC, especially as it related to the Clabaugh Act which prevented UIUC officials rom extending university facilities to organizations deemed subversive or un-American, proved to be major contesting points for students.

  1. How do you feel the University of Illinois compares to other campuses in terms of student activism in the 1960s and also now?
  2. By learning more about the history of a time you lived through, how does that change or validate how you felt during those events?
  3. To what extent do you think these movements were intersectional and inclusive of various backgrounds and identities?
  4. Do you think the student movements were successful at UIUC? How do you think they could have been more successful?
  5. What do you think was the most successful or influential student group at UIUC and why?

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