EDITORIAL: Student Care Network meets a vital need


Illustration by Mattheau Faught/The Et Cetera

Times are tough. Not only has COVID-19 upended life as we knew it, but inflation and supply shortages are making it harder than ever to pay rent and put food on the table. The economic chaos is forcing some students to choose between a job to support their family or staying in college.

As students, we want to thank Dallas College for going above and beyond academics and providing basic resources through the Student Care Network. The support this network provides is free and available to all Dallas College students.

Student Care Coordinators can be contacted through the Student Care Network webpage at dallascollege. edu/studentcare. These employees are the face of the Student Care Network. They connect students to resources that will meet their needs and allow them to continue focusing on their academic goals.

If a resource is not available on campus, Student Care Coordinators refer students to community services. The 2020 Hope4College survey found 39% of students at two-year institutions and 29% at four-year institutions experienced pandemic-related food insecurity.

To meet this need, food pantries on each Dallas College campus are stocked with items for nutritious meals so students won’t have to choose between paying for their classes and paying for food. Recently, food pantries expanded to include clothing closets. Now students have a place to go if they need professional attire for an interview or an outfit for their child.

Another great resource Dallas College students can take advantage of is technology.

Wi-Fi hot spots and laptops can be checked out from any campus library for the duration of the semester. Students who don’t have technology or reliable internet at home now have access to these necessary tools. Not only has the pandemic deprived students of basic resources, but it has increased stress and mental health issues.

According to the Hope4College survey, 35% of students surveyed experienced some level of anxiety.

Free counseling services are also available through the Student Care Network. Students can talk to a counselor and get help and direction with any issues they’re facing. Health Centers on each campus provide non-prescription medicine, health counseling, pregnancy tests and certain vaccinations, among other services.

In a world where there are countless obstacles to finishing college, we see the help that the Student Care Network provides as a safeguard to keep us in college and studying for a brighter future.