USG gives $25,000 to CommUnity Mental Health Support Line

The Undergraduate Student Government funded a $25,000 reimbursement to the Office of the Dean of Students to help fund the 24-hour mental health support line for students.


Isabella Cervantes

A USG meeting votes yes for donating $20,000 to the IMU in which they will have more hybrid rooms dedicated for students, in the Black Box Theater at the IMU, on Tuesday, March 8, 2022.

Ryan Hansen, News Reporter

The University of Iowa’s Undergraduate Student Government will give $25,000 to the CommUnity Mental Health Crisis Hotline.

USG approved the funds at its meeting Tuesday night.

The money will come out of USG’s contingency fund, which currently sits at approximately $215,000. Of the allocation, $5,000 will contribute to initial technological fees and the remaining $20,000 will help to fund operating costs for the mental health 24-hour hotline for students.

The legislation was drafted by Sens. Robert Jepsen and Marco Oceguera, who said the money would help facilitate the partnership within CommUnity.

“[It’s] a little bit more cushion that they will have to make sure that that line is there for students at the University of Iowa,” Jepsen said.

RELATED: University of Iowa debuts 24-hour Mental Health Support Line for UI students

Sen. Emily Hagedorn, the finance committee chair, said this funding has been a part of USG’s contingency spend down plan since September. She said University Counseling Services would begin advertising the hotline, which has been running since October 2021, to students and services.

“It’s a really great service,” Hagedorn said. “CommUnity has been a great partner for USG for a long, long time.”

Some senators voiced concerns and confusion about a reimbursement to the Dean of Students, whose office asked USG for the funds.

Patrick Johnson, USG’s finance director, said the Office of the Dean of Students would have the means to fund the program, but the legislation is a demonstration of support for the organization.

“This is something USG, institutionally, should be looking to fund,” Johnson said. “If we chose not to fund this type of expense, it might impact the success of CommUnity going forward.”

Alli Lipsit contributed to this report.