Counseling center to hire new staff, Ears Up beer sales, new vending machines


Mara Wheaton, Lifestyles Editor

At the Oct. 31 South Dakota State University Students’ Association meeting, senators received updates on student flex reimbursement and dining and were addressed by Tammy Lunday, director of Student Health and Counseling.

Tammy Lunday

Lunday began her address to the Senate by introducing what the student health clinic and counseling center does on campus, and what the future of these centers will look like. 

The student health clinic is open to all students, with or without insurance. Lunday assured the Senate that the clinic’s priority is to treat students no matter what their financial situation might look like. The clinic tries its best to work with students who may need to set up payment plans, but the number one priority is to get students the care they need. 

“The clinic has a staff consisting of its providers, two full-time registered nurses and one registered nurse that comes in two days per week, as well as a lab supervisor,” Lunday said. 

If you need to schedule an appointment, either call health services or set up an appointment through the online portal. 

The counseling center currently houses eight counselors, and one system director and is in the process of hiring a psych certified nurse practitioner (CNP). 

The College of Nursing has partnered with the counseling center to fund a psych CNP. Seventy percent of the funding required to hire a CNP will be coming from the College of Nursing and the two entities will split the duties of the new CNP. 

“They will double as being a Psych CNP at the clinic but also a professor in the College of Nursing,” Lunday said. 

The wait time to get an appointment at the counseling center is about four to five weeks, but if anyone needs immediate help, the center does offer urgent care for someone who may be in a crisis. Along with that, there is an on-call counselor that is available to contact during hours the counseling center is not open. 

Lunday said that right now, there is a high demand for counseling, and although individual sessions may have a longer wait, the center does offer group therapy. 

“We might not have individual therapy right now available, but we do have a group that you can attend,” Lunday said. 

Group therapy will start out with four sessions, rotating between the four topics of mindfulness, distress tolerance, human relation and interpersonal effectiveness as new students join the group.

President Pulse

SA President Blake Pulse, shared the top-selling beer at the Hobo Day football game and the total sales for the event during his staff report. Fernson Ears Up beer was the top seller at the game with a total of 3,690 cans sold, and overall, there were 9,835 units sold. 

Michaela Willis

Michaela Willis, vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, updated the Senate on what is in the works regarding the flex dollars that will be getting reimbursed to students. Willis announced that depending on what meal plan each student has, reimbursements will be anywhere between $125 to $175. These funds are expected to be added to student meal plan accounts in the first or second week of November. 

The reimbursed flex dollars will work the same as flex that is already on student accounts and will expire at the end of the spring semester in May. 

Dining updates include the installation of the Yo-Kai noodle robotic machine in Hanson Hall, which is expected to be operable this week. The Market will also be getting chilled coolers installed on Veterans Day, which will house sandwiches and salads.