Walk-in students at Ohio State University's student counseling center who are accompanied by a parent or faculty member will get priority because those individuals are more likely to complain to the president's office, according to administrative emails.

An email to Counseling and Consultation Services (CCS) administrative staff members Aug. 16 about procedural issues indicated that walk-in appointments for those accompanied students will be prioritized.

"Walk-in — if accompanied by Faculty or parent, we will prioritize the students and will explain that it will be a wait and will still put them in High Priority. If accompanied by a friend, we will add them to high priority and someone will call them," wrote Angela Y. Stafa, a clinical services program assistant.

A follow-up email to administrative staffers from Shonali Raney, associate director of CCS, elaborated on the reasons behind the priority assignment after she “heard that folks were upset that we offer preferential treatment.”

Raney acknowledged that prioritizing someone who is accompanied by a faculty or staff member or parent is “not fair.”

But she added, “The reason we do this is because this group for (sic) folks (faculty/staff parents) are more likely to pick up the phone or email the president’s office and complain about us.”

“It has happened time and time again and then (CCS Director) Micky (Sharma) gets called and he has to then call the faculty/staff/parent and personally apologize,” Raney wrote.

“Fair? No, absolutely not,” she continued. “I would like you (to) think of it as which causes less headaches and disruption to our system versus in terms of fairness/unfairness.”

The emails were first reported Friday by The Lantern student newspaper.

Ohio State spokesman Dave Isaacs said that what is described in Raney's email “does not represent a policy,” and access to the university’s mental health services is available to all students on an equal basis.

“The words of a staff member, written in frustration, do not detract from this mission of supporting the mental health needs of the Ohio State student population,” Isaacs said in an emailed statement.

“It should be noted that when a faculty or staff member brings a student to the counseling center, it is often because they believe the student to be in urgent need,” Isaacs said. “All cases of urgent need receive a high priority from the department.”