Counselors broaden student outreach

Suzanne Blake , Life Editor

Through the addition of a mandatory lunch duty, the counseling department brought forth the inception of a service that could benefit many students.

Every Wednesday during lunch, counselors are stationed at the area surrounding the Cougar, equipped with iPads and knowledge in order to assist students with questions concerning their classes, GPA and transcripts.

Counselor David Ruggiero said the program gives students more opportunities to reach out to their counselors without losing instructional time.

“When we were asked to do a lunch duty, we kind of countered that with what can we do to be most visible to students. From my standpoint, it gives students maximum exposure to take advantage of us,” Ruggiero said.

Dean of Students Kishia James also agrees it’s a wise use of time.

“While we’re accomplishing one of our requirements, then we’re also serving the students by being there for them academically and personally during lunch time,” James said.

Students have mixed views about the program.

Freshman Stephen Poupart was unaware of the program’s existence. Poupart does not plan to venture towards the Cougar because he “could just ask a friend.”

Sophomore Nyawira Nyota is excited to utilize the program in the future.

“I would love to do that because I actually have some questions I would like to ask, but I don’t want to put in the effort to make an appointment,” Nyota said.

Cutting down time students spend out of class and inside Student Services, filling out an appointment sheet was a major aspiration of Counselor Corner. But the true intent is to serve students in any way possible, without students feeling they may be speaking to an adversary.

Ruggiero said, “We didn’t want to be seen as the same as an administrator or teacher. We’re supposed to be here for students to come here and trust us with information. It doesn’t really put us in the same category.”

In regards to the future of Counselor Corner, James is optimistic.

James said, “I see this really blossoming. In two years, I can really see students taking advantage of the school counselors being at the Cougar during all lunches.”