GV ECS votes unanimously to implement suicide prevention measures on campus


GVL / Annabelle Robinson

Jamie Wilson, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University’s Executive Committee of the Senate (ECS) recently met with the Student Senate to discuss suicide prevention measures on GVSU’s campus. 

ECS is the highest committee of faculty members to decide on issues brought to them from the lower-faculty senate, the University Academic Senate (UAS) and the Student Senate. 

Student Senate brought resolutions involving attempts to heighten awareness of mental health and prevent mental health crises of students on campus.

The first resolution discussed was to create a safety barrier on the Little Mac Bridge. 

This resolution was formed after two students, Logan Congdon and Reagan McLaughlin, petitioned for a barrier following the death of student Quinn Campbell who died by suicide this past winter. 

“I was blown away by the turnout of those who are passionate about this cause,” Congdon said. “Reading the comments on the petition and hearing stories about other students who’ve had suicidal thoughts while on the bridge was a moving experience. I just want to thank everyone who has supported us thus far and helped spread the word.”

Through university partnerships with student affairs, public safety, facilities planning personnel and the university counseling center, student senator Aaron Rusch and vice president Faith Kidd wrote up the resolution for it to be presented at ECS. 

“I was so excited to hear that our petition was taken seriously by the GVSU student and faculty governments,” Congdon said. “This barrier is an avenue for real change to occur on our campus and while we can’t ‘suicide-proof’ the world, the netting on Little Mac bridge will create enough friction for someone to re-think things, call a suicide hotline or reach elsewhere for help.”

The petition received overwhelming support and the resolution passed unanimously through ECS.

The second resolution discussed at ECS was the resolution on printing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline contact information on student identification cards.

Freshman Bianca Munoz and vice president Justin Frappier wrote this resolution with the help of the counseling center and GVSU’s Police Department (GVPD) and presented it to the ECS at the meeting.

“We wanted to extend more resources and greater access to mental health resources for students,” Munoz said. “Putting it on our IDs would make it easily accessible and available to students when the campus counseling center is closed.”

Student ID cards are currently undergoing an adjustment for the upcoming year, so this design decision is coming at a reasonable time. 

“The number fits perfectly on the card, without having to remove or minimize anything and I think it’ll help with the mental health crises we’re seeing all across the country,” Frappier said. 

The team involved in creating the resolution decided that the suicide lifeline contact would be the best resource to put on the card rather than campus security or GVPD so students can talk through their thoughts and feelings before deciding whether authorities need to be brought in. 

“A lot of people experiencing a mental health crisis don’t want police intervention, so this is a safe alternative where students can speak to someone confidentially and if police should be brought in, the lifeline can walk the student through that,” Munoz said during the presentation. 

This resolution passed through ECS unanimously. The committee applauded the students for bringing these issues to the faculty’s attention and taking action to help others.