Formation of parent pregnancy resource expected

Marcel Mayo

A parent pregnancy resource center might be available to WKU students in the future.

Madisonville graduate student Kelsey Luttrell, the chief justice of the Student Government Association, feels strongly about having this resource center on campus. 

“Whenever I was a pregnant student during my junior year as an undergrad, I felt very isolated,” said Luttrell. 

Luttrell, currently in the process of creating a resolution to create a resource center, was inspired by her personal experiences as an undergraduate student. 

Luttrell went into labor during her last final during her junior year and stayed to finish the test before she drove herself to the hospital. Luttrell does not want other students to go what she been through, which is why she believes WKU should have a maternal and paternal leave rule. 

“I think having all the resources together in one place will make it very [simple] for any WKU student,” said Luttrell. 

“This is a service that is much needed at WKU and would provide expecting mothers with the necessary resources and services to live, work and learn comfortably at our university,” said SGA President Jay Todd Richey. 

Luttrell said Student Affairs and the Counseling and Testing Center have been very supportive of the idea, but no official actions have been made yet. 

Luttrell hopes a Web page for the resource center could be made so students can see what it would offer. SGA would help direct students to the Web page for parent resources by displaying a link to the center on its own Web page. 

The center would not necessarily have its own building. It would be a partner through another service already offered on campus. It would provide resources mothers on campus have a hard time receiving: financial aid, free pregnancy tests, healthcare, nutrition assistance and supplement program benefits and possibly a daycare. 

“Eventually I would love to see us establish something we could provide like food and clothing,” Luttrell said. 

Luttrell also feels that every building on campus should have lactation centers for student mothers. 

“I don’t think that’s unfeasible at all,” she said. 

A map of these centers would be provided for students to know where the lactation centers are provided in each building. 

Other universities like the University of Kentucky have a two-week maternity leave for students. These are excused absences. Luttrell said she hopes WKU can enforce a policy similar to UK’s. 

“Getting the maternal leave is probably my main focus right now,” said Luttrell.

Because of the slow recovery time for healing and bonding with a newborn baby, Luttrell said maternity leave is essential. 

“I would fight for a two [to] three-week maternally leave,” said Luttrell. 

A parent resource center could help college mothers and fathers stay in school while getting a degree and parenting at the same time.