“Nurturing yourself is not selfish – it’s essential to your survival and your well-being.” - Renee Peterson Trudeau
“As a law school, we care about your happiness, mental health, and well-being and we are committed to helping you find balance and wellness. You are not alone.” – Sarah Beznoska, Assistant Dean for Student and Career Services
My highest priority as Dean is not only our students’ first-class, quality legal education, but also their happiness, mental health, and well-being.
The law school stereotype is that law school must be a grueling ordeal to adequately prepare students for legal practice. The stress on students’ mental and physical well-being has become an accepted rite of passage of law school life. That should not be accepted.
At CSU Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, we are committed to fostering a culture that promotes our students’ well-being both inside and outside of the classroom. We are a student-centered law school, and our students’ needs are at the forefront of every decision we make.
Here you will find open doors and open minds and a level of accessibility, support, encouragement, and interaction that many law schools don’t offer.
Under the leadership of Assistant Dean Sarah Beznoska, Director of Academic Support Nick DeSantis, and Head of Library Research/Instructional Services Amy Burchfield, our students, faculty and staff have come together in support of this effort.
Our Student Bar Association Wellness Committee, chaired by 2L Bess Massad, our staff Wellness Committee, chaired by Amy Burchfield, and our Lift Our Spirits Task Force, co-chaired by Beth Farrell, Head of Library Access/Technical Services, Jaime Gay, Assistant Director of Student/Career Services, and Julie DiBiasio, Director of Graduate Studies/Professional Development, have worked together to find new ways to create a culture of wellness.
We have created a peaceful space, the Quiet Room, in the Law Library Rawson Learning Commons. The space itself is designed to be a calm, quiet space for reflection, peace, and stress relief. There are wellness-related pamphlets and other literature in the Quiet Room. This is in addition to the Mental Health and Wellness Collection - books located in the Ohio Room and available for check-out. The books cover topics including anxiety, depression, happiness, stress, and alcohol use.
Based on student input, we have added a white noise machine, fidget spinners, adult coloring books, Rubik’s cubes and additional furniture to the Quiet Room to further foster a sense of wellness and peace in this space.
I also created a Wellness Fund to raise funds for our efforts to promote the wellness of our students, staff, and faculty. If you would like to contribute to the Fund, please contact Ashley Presutto at email@example.com
We know that sometimes students, staff or faculty may need more particularized help, such as counseling, or resources related to economic, housing, or food scarcity. If you or someone you know is struggling, please seek help. Please reach out to a trusted staff or faculty member if you are struggling, and we will connect you with the resources you need.
You may also reach out to any of the resources found here: Mental Health and Wellness Resources
You are not alone.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay Committed to Living Justice.
Have a great day. Have a great week.
Dean, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law | Cleveland State University
Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law
For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages.