New SGA committees to advocate for disabled students, mental health issues


Kiersten Riedford

David Hupp, SGA senator for fourth and fifth-year students, said he wants DePaul’s administration to research what disabled students are needing the most in college.

DePaul’s Student Government Association (SGA) approved two new committees, the mental health committee, and the disabled student’s committee, after their proposals on Sept. 15. The two decisions were unanimous. 

While it is not new for SGA to address these topics relating to student health, these committees signify a more centralized task force in listening to the student body and holding the administration accountable for their promises pertaining to these issues. 

“I know there is always room for improvement, especially in the goals we are tackling right now,” SGA vice president Magoli Garcia said. “I am very grateful that we have people in SGA who are conscious of these issues and are ensuring these communities are represented.”

SGA senator for fourth and fifth-year students David Hupp and SGA senator for disabled students Chloe Crosby both identify as disabled students and proposed committees to help students feel supported in their communities. Crosby says the difference between the two committees is that issues facing disabled students are more identity oriented while mental health faces more generalized health concerns.

“Under the umbrella of disability are mental health issues, but it’s also something that can affect anyone,” Crosby said. “It’s good to have an advocate, which is what we’re trying to be.”

For the disabled student committee, Hupp says he wants to see a more centralized resource for students to learn about accessibility at DePaul outside of just the Center for Students with Disabilities. From the committee, Hupp also wants to create a disabled cultural center to help bring together disabled students with proper cultural programming. 

“I’d like to see our high-level administrators research what the gaps are,” Hupp said. “What are we missing when it comes to disabled students? It’s one thing for us to complain about x, y and z but I want them to properly research it and create a plan.”

The mental health committee hopes to work on student engagement and listen to what the community at DePaul has to say while emphasizing multicultural students and their specific needs. Crosby particularly wants to see more therapists of color and LGBTQ+ therapists hired to make students feel identified with those they are seeking help from.

“This continues to be something very important as mental health gets more awareness,” Crosby said. “Especially for college students, because this environment is so stressful, people need more aid.”

Both committees are ad hocs, meaning they were created for a specific purpose and have a clear beginning and end, which will be the end of the school year. While the mental health committee is a new ad hoc to SGA, the disabled student’s committee is a continuation of the previous year’s initiatives. As ad hocs, they are also open for all students to join and can be reached by emailing [email protected]

“Obviously we will not reach utopia overnight,” Hupp said. “By having a committee though, with the ability to coordinate for these specific issues, it makes us as SGA more effective in advocating for students to the administration.”