Deliberation Articles

When choosing our deliberation topic, we looked to the issues we felt effected Penn State students, and seemed to be a topic few people choose to focus on when discussing college. Mental health issues are the number one health issues facing college aged students in America, and the number of college students personally effected by mental health issues has been on the incline in the past decade.  Mental health has become a major topic of discussion at many campuses across the country as the numbers continue to rise.  

In this article, the writer discusses how mental health issues are addressed by universities, and the importance of access to mental health care on campus. The article stated that 26% of students who sought help said they had intentionally hurt themselves; 33.2% had considered suicide. For many students, reaching out for help can be difficult, but also very necessary for the safety of the student.

In our own community, and the basis for approach 1 of of our deliberation, this article by Onward State discusses the current program, CAPS, which provides mental health services to students on campus. As mentioned in the previous article, access to services, like CAPS, can significantly change the way a student receives treatment. In the article, the writer discusses how the donation made in 2016 to CAPS would significantly reduce the wait times to see counselors, which at the time was up to months long. For students, accessing help earlier can have drastic effects on treatment quality, and the amount of time each student will need to actively receive treatment. The article discusses how access to resources could improve CAPS services, by funding an increase in CAPS counselors, CAPS would be able to extend its outreach significantly and ensure all student seeking help, do sooner rather than later.

Though the current CAPS program provides extensive services to students, a general lack of knowledge of these services of students, inhibits many from seeking help. The lengthy waitlists also deter many students from making an appointment at all. Penn State, along with other campuses across the nation, must establish better strategies to ensure mental health of students takes a greater precedence.



Klodowski, Katie. “Alumni Association Matches Class Of 2016 CAPS       Donations, Pledges Largest Amount In Class Gift History.” Onward State, 27 Apr. 2016.

James, Susan Donaldson. “Mental Health Problems Rising Among College Students.”, NBCUniversal News Group, 28 June 2017,


State of Mind

Our deliberation topic is the mental health on Penn State’s campus, and is titled State of Mind. We hope to address the issues facing students, as well as the options students currently have available to them for treatment. The approach I am responsible for researching is the role of CAPS in student mental health care. We believe that CAPS, though a great resource, is not reaching students. Many students are unaware of the service CAPS can provide them, and therefore don’t seek help at all. My role is to help research CAPS services, as well as collect data on how CAPS is currently advertised to students. Last class, I send a contact email to a CAPS representative, to arrange a time we could meet, and discuss the services CAPS provides. As of today, we have not heard back from CAPS, and are awaiting a response. Last class, my partner Kate Kirk and I wrote up potential interview questions we could like to ask the CAPS representative when given the opportunity. Below are the questions:

Interview Questions

  • What is the mission of CAPS?
  • How many students utilize CAPS’ services each year?
  • How many free visits are offered to students?
  • What services are most used by students?
  • What is the expected wait time for a student to meet with a counselor?
  • How long can students stay with CAPS?
  • Will CAPS transfer students to outside help?
  • What do you think keeps students from seeking help from CAPS?
  • Do you provide services in locations other than the Student Health Center?

During tomorrow’s class period, we will continue to collect information off of the CAPS website, and compile our general background information. I also hope to discuss a plan in case a CAPS representative does not response before the following class period.

This I Believe

This I Believe

When I was younger, I would spend every summer with my grandparents. I remember laying on the floor of their living room, playing a game of chess with my older sister. As I lay with my stomach on the ground, and my feet lifted in the air, deep in concentration over my next move, my nose suddenly picks up, and my mind is drawn away from the board. A mixture of cardamom, turmeric, and ginger drafted from the kitchen, calling to me. Intoxicated by the warmth the scents brought to my entire body, I lifted myself from the ground, and abandoned my sister mid game. I wondered into the kitchen, to see my grandmother, my Nani. She wore a floral apron to protect her vermillion top, holding a large wood spoon, and stirring a deep pot; the source of the magnificent scent. She noticed me staring at her in curiosity, and smiled slightly, as she added cauliflower and potatoes, the basis of my favorite dish, aloo gobi. The simmering mixture was almost complete, as my Nani called me to the table. She poured a generous helping over rice on a plate in front of me. I quickly scooped a heaping spoonful into my mouth, burning my tongue out of impatience. Nothing had ever tasted so good in my life.

The recipe was one my grandmother learned before she got married, a recipe she carried with her from her village in India, to Indiana Pennsylvania. My grandmother left her family, her friends, her life in India behind, so that my grandfather could finish his medical school education. In countries foreign to her, she would make that dish, and remember the life she grew up with. The recipe did not simply call for spices, and vegetables, but rather the traditions of her father, the love of her mother, the laughter of her sisters, and the pure essence of the country she called home. My grandmother passed the recipe to my mom when she got married, passing with it everything she had ever known, the things she loved most. Through a simple dish, my grandmother insured that generations after her would remember where they came from, along with the culture and traditions she preserved. I believe in the resilience of identity. I believe that we preserve the parts of us that make up our cultural identify in the traditions, or dishes, we share with those after us. Anytime I take a spoonful of aloo gobi, I remember my grandmother, and all the women in my family who preserved a piece of their identity to share with me; a piece I hope I can pass along as well.