Campus Health held a Healthy Campus Summit on Oct. 30, 2017, to increase the dialogue around health and building a healthier Tulane Community. Nearly 150 members of the Tulane Community attended the free, one-day conference to hear topics about the intersection of academic success and student health, alcohol culture, gender equity, and student leadership.
M. Scott Tims, PhD, assistant vice president of Campus Health, presented ACHA data that painted a clear picture of the health of Tulane’s undergraduate student population. One fact that shaped the discussion of two events at the summit was the significant percentage of our students who report alcohol negatively impacting their academic success. “We have to find new ways to reduce this impact to aid in their success,” said Tims.
Brad Romig, director of New Student and Leadership programs, appreciated coming together with other members from across the Tulane Community to reflect on ways his team can “further promote a healthy campus in our programs, services, and support of students.”
Keynote speaker Luoluo Hong, vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at San Francisco State University, energized a large audience with strategies to integrate student health and wellness with Tulane’s academic mission. Donna Bender, director of CAPS for Counseling Services noted that Hong was an engaging and inspiring speaker with exceptional knowledge about trends and challenges on today’s college campuses. In the keynote presentation, Hong described the need for continued health promotion efforts and identified the need to develop and sustain cross-campus alliances to increase student access, success, retention, and graduation.
We as an institution, the Tulane Community, must determine how to contribute to an environment that supports the whole student. It must involve challenging the current practices of higher education pre-matriculation and beyond.
Maeghan Livaccari, Campus Heath clinic manager
Afternoon breakout sessions gave the attendees the option to focus on Title IX and gender equity, academic strategies, alcohol culture, and student leadership. Hong led two of those sessions. In one she provided a close-up look at Title IX and the campus-wide responsibility for promoting gender equity. In the other, she presented the importance of developing student leadership to promote health with passion and purpose.
The message from Hong’s presentations was clear to Maeghan Livaccari, Campus Heath clinic manager: “Addressing the health of the individual is not enough to impact the health of our community. We as an institution, the Tulane Community, must determine how to contribute to an environment that supports the whole student. It must involve challenging the current practices of higher education pre-matriculation and beyond.”
Tulane’s Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking led two workshops – one for faculty and staff, the other for students – to discuss how we can change the alcohol culture on campus and collaborate for a healthy Tulane.
Harry Cole, a learning specialist for Goldman Center for Student Accessibility, led a group exercise about how to use intention, perception, and reflection to advance academia.
Tims added, “It’s both exciting and encouraging that Tulane is acknowledging and making efforts to address these health issues for the benefit of our students. I’m hopeful this summit will lead to a broader conversation about how health is an issue that every department on campus must address. The health of our students is intrinsically linked to their ability to succeed academically.”
The summit, held in the Lavin-Bernick Center, also featured wellness activities and a student organization resource fair.