Posted on March 19, 2023

Student Denied Mental Health Access for Being White

Alexia Bianchi, Campus Reform, March 2, 2023

University of South Florida (USF) student Andrew Davis was denied access to the mental health help he sought because he was not part of the black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) community, exclusive emails and documentation obtained by Campus Reform show.

After noticing that none of the “Understanding Self and Others” (USO) group therapy meetings worked with his schedule, Davis asked USF’s counseling center on Oct. 3 of 2022 if he could instead attend the BIPOC meeting since this worked with his schedule.

In the email sent to the counseling center, Davis inquired, “{snip} I am not a BIPOC student but was wondering if I would still be able to attend?

“Unfortunately, we do need to keep this space specific to BIPOC folks … Hopefully you’ll be able to catch another one either during Winter break and/or next semester,” the USF Counseling Center responded to Davis.


According to Davis, during an Oct. 18 Microsoft Teams information-gathering meeting regarding this issue, Equal Opportunity Officer Kenneth Thomas “was accusatory” and “asked me if I even knew what BIPOC meant and if I understood the importance of those groups having their own discussion.”