We at the UTD SCC have been deeply impacted by recent political events and are wanting to support one another and our community. The recent executive order addressing immigration from particular countries has understandably brought about strong reactions for many of our students, staff, and faculty. The University of Texas at Dallas is a diverse and vibrant community that is enriched by the unique contribution of individuals from across the globe. At the UTD Student Counseling Center, we value this diverse community and support our international students, staff and faculty.

We also acknowledge there are many diverse identities at UTD that may be feeling impacted by the current political climate. The UTD SCC remains committed to its values of inclusion, social justice, and speaking out against discrimination and oppression in any form. We welcome to the Counseling Center any student experiencing negative reactions, threats, or more subtle forms of oppression because of race or ethnicity, religious affiliation, country of origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, ability status, socioeconomic status, or any other aspect of identity.

We are available for walk-in crisis appointments, individual, and group counseling for students at the SCC. Faculty and staff are encouraged to seek us out for consultation as they navigate conversations related to these events with students. We would also like to provide specific resources for international students. In collaboration with the International Center, a weekly Global Connections: International Student Conversation Group is being offered (Wednesdays 4-530pm). Additionally, The International Center has released an extensive Immigration Resources and Support webpage.

Again, the UTD SCC fully supports its diverse student body and is committed to fostering an inclusive campus for all individuals.

* Adapted from the University of Kentucky Counseling Center

Acknowledging the Impact of National and World Events on our Sense of Community

Due to recent world events, beginning with the racial tensions that have erupted from the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, to the recent racially motivated murders in South Carolina, and the increased Islamophobia due to media coverage of ISIS, we at the student counseling center would like to reiterate our commitment to affirming the diverse identities of all of our students and members of our campus community. We recognize and acknowledge the impact of stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, oppression, power and privilege, and are committed to creating a campus community that embraces and celebrates diversity in all its complexity.

Social and political events and issues can directly impact emotional well-being and sense of safety in one’s environment, causing people to experience a range of different emotional and physical reactions. These reactions may include sadness, anxiety, fear, disbelief, feelings of disempowerment, isolation, or outrage. Physical reactions might include sleep disturbances, changes in appetite, concentration difficulties, and changes in one’s overall sense of physical well-being. It may even lead to questioning of one’s values, identity, and life purpose.

Sociopolitical events may also be a source of social disconnection, and may separate and divide people from family, friends, and/or other sources of support. It may be difficult to communicate about these issues directly, as even people close to you may hold strongly opposing points of view. Previous sources of social connection, such as social media, may now be triggering or feel less safe due to heightened intensity of posts and comments. Alternatively, such issues may be personally salient to you but others’ avoidance of open dialogue can foster feelings of isolation and invisibility.

In keeping with our mission to create a safe, inclusive environment and promote the mental health and well-being of students, we encourage the campus community to seek out support and opportunities for open dialogue around these sociopolitical issues. We also encourage you personally to identify and seek safe people and spaces to express and process your individual reactions; the Student Counseling Center staff is committed to providing that safety.

In addition to the mental health services we provide, we offer consultation and outreach. We would also welcome the opportunity to serve as a resource for student groups that may want to host or facilitate open dialogues regarding these issues. We can also help you connect with many other resources, both on campus and within the larger community.

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Resources for Responding to Social Justice Concerns

UT Dallas Counseling Center After-Hours Hotline: 972‑UTD‑TALK

UT Dallas Community Resources