Counselors Flee Carpet Row

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Asked about his role, Father Finian responded, “I do not function as an administrator or faculty resident, nor am I in any way responsible for rules or behavior.” He tried to be explicit as he defined his role as different from that of the faculty and head residents of the general university system.

Counselors Flee Carpet Row

Last summer the St. John’s Counselling Service exchanged its offices on “carpet row” for the relative privacy of St. Luke’s Hall, Room 113. The move was made to centralize the housing of the service, to secure needed space and privacy, and to help clarify the Counselling Service’s role as a confidential service agency for students and faculty.

According to Mr. William Van Cleve and Father Finian McDonald, Director and Assistant Director, respectively, of the Counselling Service, the move to St. Luke’s Hall was prompted by the wish of the counselling staff to remove themselves from the shadow of administrative (and sometimes disciplinary) offices on “carpet row.”

Mr. Van Cleve later stressed the confidentiality of the Counselling Service. No information about an individual’s relationship to the Counselling Service is released to anyone, faculty included, without the individual’s written consent. Neither is there a record kept of an individual’s visits to the Counselling Service. Mr. Van Cleve also stated that members of the counselling staff are not on committees, such as admissions, where their knowledge of an individual could prejudice their actions.

Career placement, summer employment, academic and personal counselling are included in the Counselling Service’s repertoire of functions. The counsellors have also been doing “quite a bit” of work with people experiencing drug use problems. To move the Counselling Service closer to the student, Father Finian has moved into the residence halls this year as a “roomer” on second floor Bernard.

Asked about his role, Father Finian responded, “I do not function as an administrator or faculty resident, nor am I in any way responsible for rules or behavior.” He tried to be explicit as he defined his role as different from that of the faculty and head residents of the general university system.

The counselling staff for this academic year includes Mr. Van Cleve, Father Finian, Mrs. Jill Farry, Mr. Richard Schroeder, Director of the St. Benedict’s Counselling Service, Dr. Anthony Tabor, a clinical psychologist at the St. Cloud Mental Health Center, Dr. Louis Wittrock, medical consultant, Father Bruce Wollmering, director of Business Placement, and Mrs. Ruth Anderson, secretary and receptionist.

Last spring the Counselling Service submitted a budget request to the University in which it outlined an approximate $50,000 program. Major requests were for the services of a person with a Ph.D. degree in counselling psychology to head the Counselling Service here, and for an increase in the number of hours Dr. Tabor would be retained by the Counselling Service. Dr. Tabor presently spends three hours a week here; the proposal would increase this to six hours a week.

There is also some feeling that St. John’s could profit from the services of a full-time clinical psychologist or psychiatrist.

Dr. Tabor states, “Out of 1500 students I’m certain that there is a significant percentage that would

benefit from psychological counselling.” He then adds, “Right now we’re not being swamped” with individuals who require the services of a clinical psychologist.

Father Finian states that “raising the professional qualifications of our help” is not necessarily the answer to helping people here solve their problems if they won’t come to the Counselling Service in the first place.

According to Director of the Budget, Mr. Warren Janzen, it is. predicted that St. John’s will incur an operating deficit of S377,000 for this fiscal year. Considering this, it is unlikely that the Counselling Service will be able to significantly expand its program because of the lack of money; and as Mr. Donald Conway, Vice-President in charge of Institutional Development states, the addition of a staff member with a Ph.D. degree to the Counselling Service is “not the sort of thing we’d be successful in raising funds for.”

Counselors Flee Carpet Row
The Record
October 15, 1970

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Topics: Anthony Tabor, Bruce Wollmering, Finian McDonald

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