Author responds

Author responds

In response to two letters which mischaracterize an article I wrote on eating disorders at UVA…

First, the numbers mentioned in the article were quoted to me by a CAPS counselor who specializes in eating disorders. I was advised that additional data I requested from the National College Health Assessment was not yet available.

To respond briefly to CAPS Director Russ Federman’s critique: This was a 319-word story about one student who has dealt with a severe eating disorder while attending the University, not a feature intended to explore all aspects of the issue. While UVA does offer vital support services—as the article stated—parents might want to know that campus counseling centers may not be the right place to treat an advanced eating disorder.

As for students who wrestle with an undiagnosed eating disorder, the letters imply that students may not even be aware of what services are available on campus. For example, Federman states that, “It is important that UVA students know there are adequate resources available for many who struggle with eating disorders.” This is the job of the University’s own outreach programs.

To the vague but vehement accusations made by “Sarah R.”, a student in the CAPS program, about “misinterpretations”—these were actual quotes from the people interviewed, not interpretations.

Sheila Pell

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