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CPUC discusses renewed mental health nonprofit partnership, proposes to set policy on recording meetings

A large group of people are gathered to watch a presentation that is projected on multiple screens. They are seated at tables.
The March 18 CPUC meeting was held in the Multipurpose Room of Frist Campus Center.
Annie Rupertus / The Daily Princetonian

Content Warning: The following article includes mention of suicide.

University Counseling services are available at 609-258-3141, and the Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 988 or +1 (800) 273-TALK (8255). A Crisis Text Line is also available in the United States; text HOME to 741741. Students can contact residential college staff and the Office of Religious Life for other support and resources.


At the meeting of the Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC) on Monday, March 18, Vice President for Campus Life W. Rochelle Calhoun introduced Princeton University’s renewed partnership with the Jed Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to issues of emotional health and suicide prevention among young people.

“We thought it was important to reestablish a connection with [the] Jed Foundation, and to continue our work with a task force on mental health,” Calhoun said in the meeting. 

University Health Services Executive Director Dr. John Kolligian took over the “Mental Health on Campus: Continuing Our Work with the Jed Foundation” presentation. “Student deaths by suicide occur all too often at virtually all colleges and universities across the country. From 2007 to 2021, suicide rates for young people increased close to 50 percent,” he said.

The University previously partnered with the Jed foundation from 2016 to 2020, Kolligian said. Last summer, the University completed a self-study of its mental health systems for Jed to review. The foundation has completed its initial review and will additionally conduct a two-day site visit in April. 

Director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) Dr. Calvin Chin explained that following this visit, the task force will refine the plan, select and prioritize recommendations, and establish workgroups for implementing them.

“At the end of our 18-month engagement, the task force will transition into a  standing committee on mental health,” he said, suggesting a shift towards a more institutionalized approach to mental health discussion within CPUC.


According to Kolligian, the Jed Foundation's review noted strengths and weaknesses within the University’s mental health system. “Mental health on this campus is seen as a collective responsibility and a campus-wide issue with significant involvement from multiple campus departments, offices, and stakeholders,” he said.

One of the suggestions was to increase visibility of mental health services online. “Jed observed that it’s not real easy to find information about mental health screenings and wellness-related events online, so we can do better there. And there’s an opportunity for a significant expansion of suicide prevention trainings, which we will be doing. Starting this fall is actually a state requirement that goes into effect, so we are pursuing finding the right trainings for this campus at this point in time,” Kolligian said. The law referenced is New Jersey Assembly Bill 1176, which mandates that faculty and staff at institutions of higher education be trained to recognize risk factors for depression and suicide.

CPUC Executive Committee Representative Aishwarya Swamidurai ’26 raised concerns about the lack of student input in the Jed evaluation process. 

“I just wanted to ask you guys what sort of commitment you guys can provide with regards to engaging students on a broader level, and evaluating and having audacious conversations about these resources,” she asked.

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Chin responded, “I think it’s essential that we hear directly from students about what the felt experience is of all of the different initiatives that may exist on campus…It doesn’t matter how many resources we have if the student experience of them is not what we want them to be.” He added, “We’re all committed to making sure that that’s kept front and center as we consider any potential sort of changes and planning.” 

U-Councilor Judah Guggenheim ’25 asked a question about the “systemic intersection between university life, academics, the pace of the semester, focus on grades, et cetera, and mental health,” circling back to discussions from the past year and a half and in February's CPUC meeting about the role of academics in student mental health. 

Chin responded, “As [Kolligian] pointed out, it’s just one framework, right? And it’s part of other viewpoints, other ways to sort of look at this. So my hope is that the mental health task force can really address it broadly including, you know, things that you mentioned.”

Provost Jennifer Rexford introduced a proposal to establish a recording policy for CPUC meetings. Rexford also serves as the chair of the CPUC Executive Committee. 

Rexford read the draft proposal, “In order to promote the freedom to share ideas, video recording is prohibited at all meetings of the CPUC. Audio recording and still photography are permitted. Those in violation of the policy will be asked to stop recording. If repeated requests to cease recording are necessary, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. If it is discovered that meetings were recorded secretly, such as clips of the meeting discovered on social media sites, the appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.” 

University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 clarified that it is not a change to the charter, but a change to the working rules. 

Committee members also discussed the advantages and disadvantages of potentially instituting an official audio recording, an official video recording, or an official transcript for future CPUC meetings.

Eisgruber concluded that the proposal would go back to the Executive Committee. “The Executive Committee will then bring forward either this proposal or a revised version of that, and that really is something open for the Executive Committee to discuss,” he added.

Associate Provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion Shawn Maxam presented the 2022–23 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Annual Report. The presentation highlighted the main points from each section of the report.

“This is the third iteration of the report and fulfills one of several important commitments made by President Eisgruber in fall of 2020, really designed to expand on diversity and inclusion efforts of the past decade starting with the 2013 Trustee Ad-Hoc Committee on Diversity Report

“I think we’re all aware of the tide, the sort of ways in which higher education, the value of higher education is being questioned. The values of inclusivity and the relationship between inclusivity and excellence is being questioned. And so I think it’s important for us — some of these themes around our ongoing commitment as a university and the ways in which we think that report is one of the ways we hold ourselves accountable for those commitments. And also the fact that we believe that we’re forever a work in progress, and that we’re always going to be doing this important work,” he added.

Maxam took a number of questions about affinity-based groups, disability identification data, and other institutional metrics for tracking DEI.

The meeting was held on Monday, March 18 at 4:30 p.m. in the Frist Campus Center Multipurpose Room. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 29.

Annie Rupertus is a head News editor for the ‘Prince.’

Olivia Sanchez is an associate News editor for the ‘Prince.’

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