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Chicagophile
  > > e-Bulletin: 06/14/02


LETTERS
G'Night, Nightline?


At the beginning of spring quarter, the University announced the closure of Niteline, a student-run listening service founded in 1979 (See "Chicago Journal,"). Niteline (formerly known as Hotline) was anonymous, confidential, and late-night, providing information, referrals, listening, and crisis intervention to anyone who called. The anonymity, lack of judgment, and late-night accessibility made us a unique student service. We, the members of Niteline, did not decide to close Niteline, and we do not wish to abandon those we served.

Niteline's closing was announced to us during winter quarter reading period, approximately one week before the final night of operation, giving us little time to address the administration's concerns before the decision was finalized. We are very disappointed in the decision to close Niteline and in how the decision was made. We did not have an opportunity to discuss the situation as a group, nor were we or the student body involved in the decision process. Because the training and volunteer obligations were heavy time commitments, only the most dedicated students remained active staffers. In the face of such dedication one can easily imagine how shocked and deeply hurt we all were.

Though the way the decision was made and communicated to Nightline was extremely insensitive and painful, it is final, and we have thus focused on working with the University to ensure that the services Niteline provided-services that are not currently provided by the on-call programs or by housing staff-can continue in a way that satisfies everyone. We hope the administration shares with us a common goal of having outlets to which University community members can turn when they are in need-even if such need does not warrant professionals like the therapists, doctors, and deans who are always on call. We do not believe that Niteline was an expendable resource, and we firmly believe that students helping other students in many capacities is necessary for a healthy and productive community.

Partly in response to a meeting with the members of Niteline, Margo Marshak, vice president and dean of students in the University, has appointed a committee to study the need and niche for student-to-student counseling within student services in general. We are very happy that we have been included in this process, and we take it as a gesture of good faith by the administration to fulfill the needs of students in concrete and varied ways. If you have questions or ideas for the future of peer-to-peer services please contact us at helloniteline@hotmail.com. This e-mail address is the only way the group can be contacted, as we wish to maintain our anonymity for the sake of our former callers.

To express your opinions to administrators involved in student services, please contact Dean Marshak, Dean Susan Art, Deputy Dean Bill Michel, and/or ORCSA head Jen Bird.
Ultimately, we are committed to seeing the spirit of nonjudgmental peer-to-peer listening live beyond the existence of Niteline.

Members of Niteline 2001-2002
Chicago


 

 

 


  JUNE 2002

  > > Volume 94, Number 5


  FEATURES
  > >
The End of Consulting?
  > > Records of a Revolution
  > >
Campus of the Big Ideas
  > >
You Go Girl!


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