Student Wellness

Title IX: Responding to sexual harassment and violence incidents

Confronting these emotionally laden, incendiary events requires an even-handed and fearless approach

A senior administrator recently described the issues related to sexual misconduct as a dormant volcano that lies beneath main administration buildings on campuses across the country. This is a sentiment echoed by many administrators committed to successfully responding to issues of sexual violence and harassment, but sometimes uncertain how to get there. With prevalence rates high and reporting rates low, colleges face challenges in designing and implementing effective responses. But an integrated institutional plan can help.

Location, variety take priority in meal planning

How savvy administrators make strategic decisions about the whole campus dining experience—because meal planning isn’t just about the food

Only one-third of 3,400 U.S. college students say they’re satisfied with their meal plans, found a survey by food industry research firm Technomic. But schools are finding that to address the problem, they need to go beyond simply improving what winds up on diners’ plates.

Study: Summer talks improve college freshmen alcohol habits

Freshmen whose parents initiated at least one conversation about drinking during the summer before college were more likely to have healthy college drinking habits, study says.

Read more »

Debate rages over Obama definition of college sexual harassment

To hear the critics tell it, President Obama wants to restrict free speech at college, interfere with campus dating and “de-eroticize” university life.

Read more »

More government overreach--on campus sexual harassment

A joint letter from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Education to the University of Montana earlier this month signals a stepped-up federal initiative to combat sexual assault and harassment on college campuses. While the problems are undeniably real, the government's proposed solutions may jeopardize such basic values as free speech and protections for the accused.

Read more »

Birth Control Ban

Disciplining students for condom distribution in dorms

When Boston College leaders sent a letter to a student group in March saying its members could expect disciplinary sanctions if they distributed condoms from dorm rooms on campus, a game of sides followed. Some students, members of the media, and the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union stood by the unofficial student group, Boston College Students for Sexual Health.

'Secret Admirer' or Cyber Bully?

Since “Kirkwood Secret Admirer” was founded on March 28, over 1,600 Facebook members have liked the page and nearly 400 secret messages have been posted. However, despite being devoted to secret crushes, many of the messages posted on the Kirkwood page have been overtly sexual, inappropriate, spiteful or unabashedly mean.

Read more »

Smoking Ban Enforcement Case Study

Friendly, but firm

Although many campuses are tobacco-free, it would be rare to find 100 percent compliance among staff, faculty, and students. There are usually a handful of smokers huddled together in a corner, puffing away.

“We try to tell people to spread the word in a respectful way, to be friendly, be positive, and not forget you’re talking to a fellow employee or student,” says Patrick Hennessey, a member of the President’s Advisory Committee for a tobacco-free campus at Westchester Community College (N.Y.). The campus’ ban took effect Sept. 1, 2012.

No Smoking, Please

HR considerations for implementing a smoke-free campus

More than 1,130 U.S. higher ed institutions have implemented smoke-free campus policies, and the number is expected to climb, according to the organization Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. The University of California can soon be added to the list.  Starting in 2014, each of its 10 campuses will be tobacco-free, says UC, Riverside spokesperson Kris Lovekin. To promote a campus event relating to the annual Great American Smokeout this past November, student affairs staff distributed zombie-themed cards modeling an app developed by the American Cancer Society.

Sound Mind, Sound Student Body: Challenges and strategies for managing the growing mental health crisis on college and university campuses

One in four college-aged Americans has a diagnosable mental illness, and severe mental illness is more common among college students than it was a decade ago, according to the American Psychological Association. Meanwhile, state and local funding for higher ed declined by 7 percent, to $81.2 billion, in 2012, and per-student funding dropped to the lowest level in 25 years, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.

Read more »

Pages