Northwestern U Faculty Senate passes resolution encouraging professors to put information about mental health services on their syllabi.

Getty Images Colleges and universities generally try to make information about mental health services accessible to students. But at Northwestern University, students may start seeing such information in a surprising place: syllabi. Wanting the campus to be “accessible and welcoming to all students,” Northwestern’s Faculty Senate last week passed a resolution encouraging “all faculty to include language in their syllabi similar to the following: ‘If you find yourself struggling with your mental or physical health this quarter, please feel free to approach me. I try to be flexible and accommodating.’” The statement ends with phone numbers for health and student services. Many professors nationally complain that their syllabi are ignored by students and have become too long as faculty members have felt pressured to include information banning plagiarism or other violations of academic integrity, or mentioning, in some cases, trigger warnings. But the Northwestern resolution appears to have encountered relatively little criticism, in part because it's voluntary. Laurie Zoloth, Charles McCormick Deering Professor of Teaching Excellence in religious studies and bioethics and medical humanities and Faculty Senate president, said she was “quite proud that the Senate went forward with our work on trying to make Northwestern more accessible to everyone.” While some senators “were cautious about being told what to put on their syllabus,” she added, “it was made clear that it was a recommended set of ideas and that it...

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