The university opened a brand new student-athlete lounge in Pearson Hall last week, complete with Xbox gaming systems, sleep pods and TVs. Right away, students criticized the lounge on social media. They were angry that Temple opened a state-of-the-art space for student-athletes, despite existing problems with services for all students, like Tuttleman Counseling Services.
Hey @TempleUniv do you need someone to coach you on finances? I’m not too good at it but I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t spend your money on useless crap like this when students are BEGGING for better mental health services and a sexual assault crisis center https://t.co/2BIkEo9H2E
— trashé (@trashepanda) January 26, 2018
Cause athletes don’t already get enough special treatment? This is a disgusting, irresponsible use of funding. We don’t need NAP PODS for football players. We need accessible mental health care. We need food for owls who can’t afford it. We need programs to help prevent overdoses
— Abby (@abbygailm08) January 27, 2018
But the university didn’t actually provide any funding for the new lounge. The New York Angels, a group of independent investors, funded it entirely, Senior Associate Athletic Director Larry Dougherty told The Temple News.
Still, The Temple News understands why students are frustrated. On average, there is a three-week wait time to access mental health care at Tuttleman Counseling Services, and last semester, 66 students who tried to receive services were asked to return another day between Sept. 1 and Oct. 17. Perhaps these inefficiencies are indeed caused by a lack of funding.
The funding slated for the new student-athlete lounge couldn’t have been used to expand mental health services on campus. But for those students who are frustrated, The Temple News encourages them to call on the university to focus on fundraising programs for Tuttleman.
Temple should work harder to generate more funding for resources that all students need, including Tuttleman Counseling Services. If the university can find funding to support student-athletes, then it should make the same effort for mental health resources.