Although The Student Counseling Center (SCC) provides certain valuable services to students free of charge but it ignores some of the most important issues that young students face. Problems associated with single parenthood and drinking at a lower age are some of the ethical dilemmas that most of the students face in their pre or post-graduation years. Our student counseling center does not address these issues and does not prepare students to take into account the problems associated with these social affliction. Health advisement is on the agenda of SCC and both issues are related to heath in one way or the other.
Alcoholism directly affects the human mental and physical health whereas solo-parenthood brings mental stress for the students-parents. In both cases these students are unable to concentrate on their studies that result into poor academic grades. The limitations of counseling center are obvious as it is not a regulatory body that control or channelize the human behaviors but it can direct the students behaviors in positive directions by highlighting the afflictions associated with common problems of single-parenthood and excessive alcoholism.
Some students are of the view that single parenthood and alcoholism at early age are a matter of adolescents’ right and freedom endowed on American citizen by the Bill of Rights and these bring no harm to the society. I agree with it but it is not a matter of individual choice but it has social implications as well. These also bring harm to individuals and indirectly to society at large. Furthermore, an institute does not award a degree only but it inculcates in its students certain moral values and behavioral competencies that enable them to succeed in life.
It further prepares its students to cope with the problems they face. I would further assert that counseling on these issues is not out of domain of counseling center as it provides help on issues related to crisis intervention, drug abuse treatment and couple counseling. Suicide is the ultimate result of crisis and one way of dealing with it is to address one of the root causes i. e. excessive alcoholism. Drug abuse treatment can proactively be dealt by providing necessary information on the risks of alcoholisms that is the most commonly used form of substance abuse.
Couple counseling can also include possible dangers of single parenthood and its socio–economic outcomes. This will lead couples toward more close associations in years to come. Research studies have indicated that solo-parents and children of solo parents, whether unmarried or divorced, are afflicted with various social troubles. In these communities of young ones there lurks the great malady of poverty, reliance, drug abuse, failure in the educational field, juvenile delinquency, early-unwed pregnancy, and many of other negative behaviours over the heads of these young ones.
For example, “Parental Gender, single-parent families, and delinquency; exploring the moderating influence of race ethnicity” by David Eitle (2005) established relationship between the structure of family (that has undergone various changes over the past many decades) and delinquent behaviour among children. So counseling students on single parenthood would be a pre-emptive measure that would help them understand the value of true and lasting relations and would enable them to nurture their relationship in a more positive manner.
Role of SCC is most important in this regard as these are the formatting years of most of the couples relationships. Research studies and its findings validate that that adolescents under the age of 21 are unable to build up their cognitive, communal, and mental mechanisms (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services vi) that are necessarily required to make rational judgments about alcohol consumption. Moreover, their physiological systems and anatomy have not yet completed their “physical maturation course”.
The statistical data reveals that “[a]nnually about 5,000 people under age 21 die from alcohol-related injuries involving underage drinking. ” (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services 10). General further says that underage drinking further “increases the risk of physical and sexual assault” and produces “risky sex behaviors, including unwanted, unintended and unprotected sexual activity” that further causes “unplanned pregnancy  contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)” (U.
S. Department of Health and Human Services 10). So if we want to protect student of ISU from these possible threats to their physical health and social, we need to change the way SCC addresses these issues. It must alter its approach to counter these possible threats by proactively organizing awareness sessions and seminars on the dangers of alcoholism instead of addressing it after one becomes alcoholic or starts consuming too much amount of it.
It does not mean that SCC should stop its present counseling process but it should start an awareness movement as well. I know some of my ISU students fellows who were counseled by SCC on alcoholic related issue and now they are leading a normal life. I want to highlight that role of counseling center is passive and reflexive as it does not address much of problems faced by students in an upbeat manner. It only provides counseling only to those who approaches it after being afflicted with certain problems.
I am quite aware of fact that counseling center suffers from shortage of qualified and experienced staff that can provide proactive and effective advice to each and everyone but ISU SCC should arrange awareness seminars to disseminate information about the dangers of single parenthood and alcoholism thus preventing students from indulging in unhealthful activities. Works Cited Eitle, David. Parental Gender, single-parent families, ands delinquency; exploring the moderating influence of race ethnicity. Social Science Research. 2006. 35. 727-748.
National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Research Findings on Underage Drinking and the Minimum Legal Drinking Age. National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. April 24, 2009 http://www. niaaa. nih. gov/AboutNIAAA/NIAAASponsoredPrograms/drinkingage. htm U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking. Washington, D. C. : U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2007. April 24, 2009 http://www. surgeongeneral. gov/topics/underagedrinking/calltoaction. pdf