Counselors await office upgrade

Privacy by mid-October


Caroline Frisiras

Counselor Tori Alderman chats with publications junior Sophie Fenton about the construction. Alderman appreciated the students’ patience with the current lack of privacy in the counseling office.

By Olivia Young, Online Editor

     Tigard’s new renovations have resulted in the temporary relocation of the counseling office. The counselors have moved from their stand-alone office in the Main Hall to the corner of the library, resulting in the new counseling space being entirely open save for a partial barrier dividing it from the rest of the library. 

     Due to this partial barrier, and an even smaller one dividing individual counselors from one another, there is a noticeable lack of privacy for students who wish to talk with their counselors. Last week, senior Jessica Woolfolk went in to talk to her counselor in the morning about a concern but felt rather uncomfortable doing so. This was because of the lack of privacy that follows the current counseling situation.

     “With all of their ‘offices’ simply being a desk in the library, there is no privacy to discuss things deeper than wanting to drop Calculus,” Woolfolk said. “I personally no longer feel like I can utilize my counselor as a person to go to when I am struggling with my mental health due to the lack of privacy and security in their office.”

     While this new counseling space isn’t ideal, counselor Tori Alderman appreciates everyone’s patience while they wait for the new counseling offices to be built. She and Lynette Biglow, along with the other counselors, anticipated that they might not be able to move into their space due to the unpredictability of construction. 

     “We knew moving into this fall that, with any kind of construction, [getting the new offices] would be pushed back,” Alderman said. “We just need to be patient and work with what we have.”

     TTSD Director of Operations and Bond Projects Darin Barnard appreciates not only the counselors’ patience, but the students’ as well. While he agrees with the staff and students that the current situation is not the best, he thanks the counseling staff for working around the construction to help students as much as possible.

     “Counselors have done a great job making the best of the situation,” Barnard said. “We would have loved to have it done by when school started, but it didn’t turn out like that.”

     Despite the unconventional counseling space, Alderman still encourages any and all students to come and talk to their counselors if they need any sort of help. If there are any personal issues that need to be discussed, they will make a private space for you and your counselor, either in the back corner of the empty library or the conference room across the hall.

     “Usually we can read the situation, and assess if we should go to a private space.” Alderman said. She wants to stress that counselors are here for all students during and after the construction of the new offices–whether it be about dropping a class, or about mental health.

     These makeshift private spaces won’t be needed for much longer, however. A construction meeting on Sept. 24 revealed that the counselors’ furniture and personal belongings will be moved into the new counseling space Oct 19-21. After everything has been moved into the newly constructed counseling office, students will finally be able to go and talk to their counselors in that space.

     “Students have been amazing, and they have been extremely patient,” Alderman said. Barnard and the counselors understand the students’ current frustration but want to reassure them that the new space will be worth it for everyone.

     “Everyone has been awesome [with the situation],” Barnard added. “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”

     Whether students have a complaint about a class or want to talk to their counselor about something more personal, they should be on the lookout for the new counseling space at the end of October.