ASG seeks to centralize campus and local resources for students

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Graphic by Yunkyo Kim

On top of names of resources, the guide includes locations, brief descriptions and contact information for each.

Yunkyo Kim, Campus Editor

Students looking for all sorts of assistance can probably look to Associated Student Government’s master list for Northwestern and local resources.

Resources range from a link that leads to a form to change name and gender on campus document and a link to Purple Pantry, a free groceries program for students experiencing food insecurity.

The spreadsheet, which was made public at the beginning of March, currently catalogs more than 200 institutions and departments. Each tab is organized by eight dimensions of ASG’s wellness types: social, emotional, occupational, intellectual, physical, sexual, financial, spiritual and environmental.

On top of names of resources, the guide includes locations, brief descriptions and contact information for each. Through the catalog, the ASG aims to alert students to resources available to them in campus and local spheres, health and wellness chair and SESP sophomore Mikenzie Roberts, said.

“With COVID happening last year, we really wanted to make sure that there were online or national resources that people could use,” Roberts said.

The University typically lists Counseling and Psychological Service as the first resource where students can seek help, Roberts said. She said ASG wanted to publicize resources available to members of the NU community beyond CAPS.

But the project started before she became chair, Roberts said. Under her leadership, the Health and Wellness Committee updated and fleshed out the list to cater to students scattered around the globe from the pandemic as well as those nearby on campus.

Revika Singh (Weinberg ‘21), a former Health and Wellness Committee chair, said the project started in 2017, a year before she joined ASG. It responded to concerns that knowledge of University resources were not in a central location, she said.

Singh said there were resources in Evanston and Chicago she did not know about until she became an upperclassmen, such as Howard Brown Health Center, a Chicago organization that offers access to gender-affirming healthcare.

“If people have learned about certain resources, or certain funds or scholarships or things like that earlier during their time at Northwestern, it could literally prevent so much damage and harm,” Singh said.

In her time at ASG, Singh said she talked to Senate members, who reminded her how important it was for the University to make resources clear and in the open for people to access.

Because of this, Medill Senator Julia Karten said that the committee is working to get as many University websites and student groups to link the spreadsheet.

“Spreading the word about it is the fastest way to help as many people as possible,” the sophomore said.

Looking ahead, Roberts said she wants the list to extend beyond ASG. Even though many people are returning to campus and getting vaccinated, a huge need for a centralized resource guide remains, she said.

On top of periodically updating resources, Roberts said she wants to get additional input from any students with suggestions on what to include.

“Having one place to find these resources is important for people who are struggling and like need some sort of help in some area,” Roberts said. We want (there) to be as little work as possible.”

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