Like many universities, Michigan Technological University is tight on resources. Even with a strong commitment to improving student health and wellness, budget restraints can pose a challenge.
“Here in Michigan, we’re in a remote area, so we don’t have a lot of health resources specifically for our students,” says Whitney Boroski, manager of Student Health and Wellness at the university. “The community resources we have for our general population are already overloaded and we don’t have an affiliated student health center.”
Recognizing the importance of awareness and prevention when it comes to keeping students safe in the face of issues like depression, substance abuse, and sexual assault, university administrators at Michigan Tech made the choice to begin working with CampusWell (then Student Health 101) in 2013.
“We weren’t hitting our student health mandates, and we realized that it would check off some of our compliances—making sure that our alcohol and drug policy is shared with all students, for instance,” says Boroski. “Another issue is that our students aren’t sleeping, so that’s not a compliance topic, but it’s an important one.”
Multiple formats to reach your students on- and off-campus
Michigan Tech students are offered CampusWell content in several mediums. At the library, student volunteers hand out printed flyers as a way of engaging with their peers one-on-one.
“We had winter carnival coming up and that’s a heavy drinking time. Our binge drinking rates are high, and it’s very cold, so it’s high risk,” explains Boroski. “I printed out some of the pre-made content from the [CampusWell] resources on alcohol. They were perfect!”
In addition to printable materials, televisions around campus display sleek, pre-made slideshows promoting health messaging, and the CampusWell app makes crucial health and wellness resources available to students whenever they need them—whether on- or off-campus.
Many schools remain uncertain about whether they will return to campus in the fall or even the spring, which has made CampusWell’s customizable online platform more essential than ever for engaging students remotely.
Relevant and relatable wellness content
When it comes to student health content, a major success factor is not just about when and how it’s shared, but the content itself.
“We have these administrators sitting around a table trying to figure out what to do about, say, binge drinking, but we haven’t been in that position in forever. I’m not a student anymore. We don’t know what they should be doing or what prevention looks like,” says Boroski. “CampusWell has these great articles with timely messages, written specifically for students with student commentary. It’s invaluable.”
Boroski was “shocked” to find that large numbers of students are clicking through to CampusWell content from e-newsletters, even though most students claim they generally don’t check email. One popular topic? Cooking and nutrition.
“Our students don’t know how to grocery shop, meal prep, or cook. They always want more information on quick, cheap, and portable snacks and meals,” she adds. “The UCookbook series is exactly what we needed.”
Short on time? Let us do the heavy lifting
As a team of one, Boroski simply doesn’t have the time and resources to produce all the content she wants to be sharing with her students. With CampusWell, she can easily find the content needed to address real-life issues without delay.
“We don’t have a lot of time to be creative. We’re busy doing. When there’s a cold or flu going around in our residence houses, it’s easy for me to search the CampusWell archive for articles and information and send that out quickly.”
To help distribute CampusWell content, Boroski appointed a student from the university’s Exercise Science and Kinesiology department.
Part of that role involves sharing blog posts on social media, which has shown impressive engagement. After all, for a tech university, the proof of CampusWell’s value is all in the numbers.
“When I can go to my supervisor and say ‘Hey, we had 3,000 students see this post on hand washing, or on better sleep,’ that is a real value that I can prove when the question of budget comes up,” says Boroski. “We don’t have a student health service, so we need something. I think if we didn’t, it would hurt our recruitment. I’m asked all the time: What’s our comprehensive care plan for our students? You better believe CampusWell is part of that.”
CampusWell is a versatile platform that helps make a multi-departmental wellness initiative simple, sustainable, and engaging. Using technology, high quality, research-based content, and proven marketing strategies, together with your existing assets, we deliver a campus-wide wellness platform that will positively impact your students and institution.
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