Students need help, not dismissal

The purpose of college is to help young men and women grow into adulthood and to not only educate its students, but also allow them to exist in an environment that preaches camaraderie and self-sufficiency.So then why are some colleges kicking out students who need their help the most?

As reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education, a George Washington University student was dismissed from campus in early 2005 after he sought university help to cure his lingering depression. Jordan Nott, who had a friend who committed suicide in 2003, decided one night that he might be slipping away and, after waking both a roommate and friend, admitted himself to the on-campus hospital.

Instead of being granted the care he not only expected, but also obviously needed, Nott was subsequently barred from his dormitory, then campus, then suspended from the university with threat of disciplinary action – all for what the university claimed was “endangering behavior.”

It’s not readily apparent how Nott’s actions could be construed as “endangering” – all he did was seek strength in his two friends and muster up the courage to admit he needed help. Hardly threatening.

What is hazardous, however, is the university then forcing him to transfer. In a written statement, a university spokeswoman said that “the university’s foremost concern is for the student’s life.”

So ostracizing him is the appropriate response? Not only is such an action isolating a young adult from his closest friends, but it also shows students there could be dire consequences for doing the one thing they need the most – looking for help.

Why not require a certain amount of university-sanctioned therapy hours per week? That way, students are still forced to take the proper steps toward mental health but in a way that keeps them close to their accustomed environments. More importantly, it does not endanger the future of their education – or their lives.

Sports editor Travis Stewart for the editorial board.