Recent complaints about CAPS are, perhaps, unsurprising, in the wake of a flurry of criticisms toward the disabilities services office and student health center. Seattle U’s wellness services are looking more than a little bleak from here, but scant resources are probably just a
necessary evil of the small-school experience. And I have no doubt that all the employees within these departments are doing their absolute best with what they’ve been given. That said, when I was an orientation advisor during my sophomore year I was supposed to recommend these programs to new students unreservedly. While we were encouraged to speak at least somewhat frankly about our experiences at Seattle U (which, for me, included less-than-satisfying experiences with student wellness resources), we were also supposed to make sure students were aware that these departments would absolutely be there for them if they needed. Which would all be well and good, if this were true. As is, I would not be comfortable recommending these programs without a serious dose of reality on the side: no, CAPS won’t always be able to help you in a crisis; no, disabilities services won’t always be able to accommodate you; yes, you really will have to wait about a week for an appointment at the health center, even if you’re burning up and just want them to take your damn temperature (ask me how I know). Again, I commend all three departments for doing the absolute best with what they have. But if we’re expected to keep name-dropping these services to new students as a selling point, the school had better be prepared to deliver.