Prompted by President Ryken, Student Government has begun an inquiry into the Wheaton College Counseling Center (WCCC) experience by asking students what they think of the center. The mandate comes after some students at Town Hall Chapel expressed disappointment with the counseling center over the lack of counseling options for students struggling with gender identity. In response to this commission, Student Government has placed a feedback box in Lower Beamer where students can submit anonymous comments about the counseling center for Student Government’s consideration.
“We believe our role is to represent the student body by listening to ranging experiences of student body’s experience with the counseling center,” Lauren Rowley, EVP of Student Care, said.
The WCCC provides a safe place for students of all backgrounds to receive confidential and holistic psychological services, and provides individual, group and premarital counseling along with referral services.
Toussaint D. Whetstone is the director of the WCCC and, in addition to working at Wheaton, has worked in other settings such as the University Counseling Services and the Notre Dame Counseling Center, where he learned techniques and systems he now applies to his role as director at Wheaton.
In the WCCC’s 40-year history, the center now has its most diverse clinical staff, along with the highest number of psychologists on staff and the highest number of students receiving financial assistance for psychiatric evaluations. Additionally, because of programs Whetstone has implemented during his tenure, the waitlist has been cleared. This means that whenever a student goes to the WCCC, they are never turned away and can schedule an appointment or, if they are in a crisis, can receive care immediately.
When asked about the disappointment students had with the center concerning gender identity, Whetstone answered, “Our services are for everyone, and we will always do our best to respond to students from all backgrounds with empathy, compassion and non-judgment. This is especially true for historically marginalized students such as those with concerns surrounding gender identity. I am very much open to hearing specific suggestions from students who have found individual therapy to be insufficient.”