The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri

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The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri

Muleskinner

The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri

Muleskinner

College Health Survey to Be Administered in February

Decrease in Response Rate Risks Increased Campus Resources
Graphic+by+Linda+Alviar
Graphic by Linda Alviar

  On Feb. 8, Missouri Partners in Prevention, an association designed to promote health and safety across college campuses in Missouri, plans to implement the Missouri Assessment of College Health Behaviors on behalf of the University of Central Missouri’s Office of Health Promotion. The survey will be offered over email to a randomly selected group of graduate and undergraduate students. 

  Student respondents will remain anonymous; however, the statistics gathered from the survey will be used to make informed decisions regarding student need for additional campus resources. 

  The survey will be live for two weeks following Feb. 8, and close on Feb. 22. Three graduate and three undergraduate students will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card courtesy of Missouri Partners in Prevention.

  “The intention is very much to discover concerns, health-related concerns and maybe any barriers that students are having to getting support and help for those things,” Amy Kiger, Director of Campus Community Health, said. Kiger explained that the survey lasts about 15 minutes and covers various topics related to student and personal life, including substance use, mental health and food security. 

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  In 2018 and 2019, the Student Government Organization in partnership with the Office of Health Promotion, used data from the survey to show a need for increased student resources, allowing for the creation of the Campus Community Health Fee. 

  “Because we were able to show that there was a need for that and we’ve seen that trend, the SGA had some real strong data to propose the student health fee,” Suzy Latare, Manager of the Office Of Health Promotion said. Subsequent funding has been used in recent years to add campus mental health resources. 

“The intention is very much to discover concerns, health-related concerns and maybe any barriers that students are having to getting support and help for those things.”

— Amy Kiger, Director of Campus Community Health

  “Those funds, we’ve been able to use to add three part-time mental health practitioners employed at the university,” Kiger said. Additional funds have also been used to add the 24/7 crisis support line for students, as well as two additional counseling clinicians at the counseling center, Kiger explained.

  “There is a direct correlation between robust data, having a really healthy response rate to the survey, and us being able to prove that students are needing support in particular areas and to show the need to provide resources to those supports,” Latare said. Despite these benefits, response rates for the assessment have recently declined. 

  Kiger explained that over the past several years, the response rate for the survey has decreased not just across UCM students, but also across the state. 

  “If we don’t get enough students to respond, we can’t use the data to reliably describe what’s going on with our students,” Kiger said. Some students agree with the need to better understand the health concerns of students on campus. 

  Freshman, Jonathan Crispin expressed support for exploring the needs of students on campus. “I think understanding mental health and substance abuse [on campus] is very important in the time of life when mental health has the possibility to be the worst and substance abuse has the ability to take form. So I think this is really important for college students,” Crispin said. 

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About the Contributor
Linda Alviar, News Editor
Linda Alviar is a freshman at the University of Central Missouri with a major in communication studies and a minor in political science. As news editor, Alviar is responsible for the news section and the content within it. Alviar also covers the Student Government Association beat. In the future, Alviar plans to pursue a career in Journalism, specifically covering local politics. 

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