Fairfield University is an organization.
Like all organizations, Fairfield is composed of an organized body of people with a particular purpose, which is educating students for their future career paths.
“For more than 80 years, Fairfield University has been graduating adept, accomplished and socially responsible leaders in an academic community where the learning goes deeper, the friendships are more meaningful and the experiences stay with you long after graduation.”
Aside from the University’s purpose of enhancing and supporting students’ academic and career goals, Fairfield University has values that promote the overall well-being of its students. As a student at Fairfield University, I do not consider this place an organization, I consider Fairfield home.
After attending the University for the past three years and living on campus as well, I have built long lasting relationships with my classmates, as well as staff, in which some of them I consider family. I have spent almost 24 months interacting, living and learning with individuals who attend and work at Fairfield. Not only do my peers at Fairfield see me at my best, but they see me at my worst when I am struggling and need their support.
Recently, a suicide prevention walk took place on Sunday, April 16. “Out of The Darkness” Suicide Prevention walk was a way for all members of the Fairfield community to “support those who have lost their lives, know someone who lost their lives, or is currently struggling with suicidal ideation.” Overall, the fundraising aspect of the walk was a huge success, as Fairfield raised over $17,000.
Yet, the attempt to depict Fairfield’s strong sense of community through the walk was unsuccessful, as all members of the community did not attend the event. According to the University’s values and missions, Fairfield has the obligation to better the entire community as a whole. “Fairfield also has a further obligation to the wider community of which it is a part, to share its resources and special expertise with its neighbors for the betterment of the community as a whole.”
Unfortunately, it has been reported by the executive members of the Psychology Club that very few faculty and administration attended this event that promotes mental health for students at the school. The reported lack of attendance by faculty and administration is not aligned with Fairfield’s sense of community and left many students feeling unsupported in their well-being. In addition, suicide prevention walks help raise awareness about resources and promote open conversations about challenges one may be going through.
Since faculty and administration did not attend, it may send a message to students that mental health is not a priority. It is essential for members of the University’s staff to actively participate in such events to show support for their students and demonstrate their commitment to the University’s values and mission. All students need to be in an environment where they feel heard and cared for. When faculty and administration partake in events like the suicide prevention walk, it sends a powerful message out to all. For the future, I think it is important for Fairfield to recognize this and ensure that future events related to mental health are receiving support from faculty and administration.
There needs to be better communication between faculty and clubs at the school in order to make sure there are members of the administration who can attend student-led events and support them and their achievements. In order to build a strong sense of community, all members must actively participate so that students can thrive academically and emotionally. All members of the Fairfield community are Stags. All Stags need to support one another so that we can create a successful academic and emotional environment for all.