Reinstate Barb Wilson - TAMUT, Put Your Students First
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Our Director of Student Counseling Services, Barbara Wilson, was terminated hastily and without merit. After years of selfless dedication to students and accolades including being selected as Employee of the Year for 2013-2014, Texas A&M - Texarkana owes Mrs. Wilson, and its students, a review.
This impetuous decision left her caseload abruptly without mental health services. Mental health/emotional well being is extremely important. For TAMUT to take such rash actions that impact the health of its students without serious consideration is totally unacceptable.
Mrs. Barb, as she is affectionately known, has touched an infinite number of lives on our campus. Because of the confidential nature of counseling services, many instances will likely remain unknown. I, however, am able to publicly attest to her professionalism, compassion, care, skill, and her utter dedication to her clients and to the university in which she served. The people who sign with me and stand in support of Mrs. Barb are joining their voices to mine.
During my senior year, I was the victim of seven violent crimes including rape, kidnapping, aggravated burglary, and aggravated robbery. Mrs. Barb is the biggest reason as to why I am functioning, healing, and well on my way to being whole again. I went through heavy, abnormal, and horrific things. I say with authority that not just anyone could help someone who is as traumatized and broken as I. She not only counseled me, as per her employment, but supported me as one who truly cared. Mrs. Barb was present at every court date that she could attend, and was by my side during the entire trial. Without her there, I am not sure I would have done as well as I did. I was already suffering unbearably. Having someone who is not only compassionate and loving but professionally skilled was a rare blessing.
Because of her involvement with my case, she was put into contact with the Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault. I had enlisted them for help in my battle against the perpetrator and his attorneys. ACASA was so impressed with Mrs. Barb and with what they witnessed her do on my behalf that they asked her to become a member of their Board of Directors. I find it so sad that a statewide organization was able to quickly see her worth and value, but TAMUT obviously has not. I hope that this petition causes TAMUT to look into the circumstances of her termination and that the administration realizes what a gem they have so casually discarded. The point that makes this so appalling is that it is current and future students, as well as alumni, who are suffering the loss. The administrators who made the decisions surrounding her termination do not bear the consequences of their actions. We do.
As such, we the students are raising our voices in support of Mrs. Barb. We demand not only her reinstatement, but her exoneration from the baseless reasons for her termination. We insist that Dr. Cutrer and/or the appropriate personnel, be it at TAMUT or with the A&M University System, pay heed to the facts in her appeal and grant the requested relief. Failure to do so is an affront and an insult to TAMUT's enrollment and we are joining together to let the university know that it will not be tolerated.
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