Mary Christie Quarterly A publication of the Mary Christie Foundation
Substance Use on Campus
Moving Dartmouth Forward
a Q&A with President Philip Hanlon p. 24
Issue 7 | Third Quarter | 2017
including a Q&A with Wells College President Jonathan Gibralter p. 09
How Haven at College is Helping Students with Addiction p. 33
Mary Christie Quarterly The Mary Christie Quarterly is a publication of the Mary Christie Foundation, a thought leadership and philanthropic organization dedicated to the health and wellness of young adults.
STAFF Publisher & President Editor & Executive Director Program Manager Staff Writer & Communications Coordinator
Robert Meenan Marjorie Malpiede Dana Humphrey Ashira Morris
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chair
John P. Howe, III
Robert F. Meenan
CONTE NTS 04 Itâ€™s On Us Takes on Campus Sexual Assault 10 Q&A: Wells College President Jonathan Gibralter 15 Project LETS: A Strong, New Voice in Peer-to-Peer Support 20 Opinion: Students with Type 1 Diabetes Need More Support 23 Moving Dartmouth Forward: A Q&A with President Philip Hanlon 30 CUMU Leverages the Power of Community 33 Haven at College Addresses Addiction and Stigma 38 Science Summary
Cover art by Daniel Chang Christensen Spot illustrations by Jia Sung
It’s On Us Takes on Campus Sexual Assault As the sexual violence prevention campaign turns three, students lead the charge By Ashira Morris Sexual violence is an issue Her best friend was sexually reminder that upholding Ti-
that no college campus can ignore. But for too long, it has not received the acknowledgment or accountability it warrants. The It’s On Us campaign hopes to change that by widening the responsibility for changing the culture around sexual assault to include the whole campus community. The full slogan, “it’s on us to stop sexual assault” has an expansive definition of “us” that encompasses not only students, but professors, community leaders, parents, and administrators. “Unfortunately, sexual assault on campus has been an issue that has been the burden of survivors alone,” said Rebecca Kaplan, the founding director of It’s On Us. “We need to lessen that burden through education, bystander intervention, and other efforts that give survivors the support they need.” Kaplan’s perspective comes from personal experience. 04
assaulted during their freshman year in college. And while she remembers her suffering through victim- blaming and isolation, Kaplan was not equipped to help her in any significant way. “When she came forward, I wasn’t educated on how to be a supportive friend and had no idea what her options were,” Kaplan said. “The education level for bystanders and friends was so different from what it is now. It was important to me to be a part of a movement that supports survivors and educates all of us on how to be a part of the solution to end sexual violence.” Addressing sexual assault, particularly on college campuses, was one of the Obama administration’s most prominent domestic policy initiatives. In 2011, the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights issued the “Dear Colleague” letter, a pointed
tle IX requirements meant schools were responsible for responding to sexual violence on their campuses. Since then, the administration opened civil rights investigations at over 100 colleges. In January of 2014, the White House convened a task force to look into campus sexual assault and come up with recommendations to prevent it. The resulting report emphasized the importance of engaging the whole community in the conversation to end sexual violence. It also noted that to ensure prevention, it was crucial to create a change in campus culture. To address both, It’s On Us was created. The public awareness campaign aimed to “fundamentally shift” how the country thinks about sexual assault. “As far as we’ve come,our society still does not sufficiently value women,” said Obama at
the September 2014 campaign launch. “We still don’t condemn sexual assault as loudly as we should. We make excuses. We look the other way.” For the one in five women and one in 16 men who are statistically projected to experience sexual violence before graduation, that loud condemnation can make coming forward about their experience a little easier. Much of the cloudiness around sexual assault statistics stems from the fact that it is one of the least-reported crimes. A Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that although three-fourths of victims told someone about the assault, only 11 percent told the police or college authorities.
Reporting sexual assault is no simple task. It’s complicated by stigma and shame, fear that the police will be dismissive or worse, paralysis of action after the assault.
“I decided enough was enough,” Skaller said. She reported him the next day.
For survivors of sexual assault, It’s On Us sends a strong message: you are not alone.
Fueled by the decision, Skaller was determined to advocate around sexual assault prevention. She was unsure where to start when she came across an application for It’s On Us Student Advisory Committee, one of the pillars of the It’s on Us campaign.
Samantha Skaller had been assaulted the fall of her sophomore year at Syracuse University, before leaving for a spring semester abroad in France, but did not report the assault at the time. While she was away, a friend reached out and shared that she had also been sexually assaulted. Over the course of the conversation, they realized they had been raped by the same person, and that he had sexually assaulted two other mutual friends.
But her brave action did not end the way she had hoped. The investigation was over by the time she was back on campus for the fall of her junior year. Her case was dismissed, with all charges dropped.
In October of 2015, Skaller became one of the 17 inaugural committee members. Her appointment led to two years of strong activism on Syracuse’s campus. She spoke to every student organization about sexual assault prevention, including nontraditional partners, like athletics teams and fraternity houses, reach-
Photo courtesy of Samantha Skaller
Samantha Skaller introduced then-Vice President Joe Biden when he spoke at an It’s On Us event at Syracuse University.
ing students who might not seek education on their own. She gave presentations an average of 10 times a week during her upperclassman years at Syracuse. “It’s On Us completely changed my life,” Skaller, now a graduate student at McGill University, said. “It gave me a voice when I didn’t think I deserved a voice.” 06
* It’s On Us originally consisted of highly produced videos and a call to action to sign a pledge online, committing to being a part of the solution. Organizations with national media reach like the NCAA and Viacom Media, whose television network includes MTV, BET, and CMT, signed on as partners for the launch.
Nearly 200 university student body presidents also supported the organization from the beginning. Through these partnerships, the first PSA videos reached audiences through televised college sports events, MTV spot ads, and campus events. The original Hollywood headliners and White House backing would later help students get cam-
paigns off the ground on their own campuses. In the video that kicked off the campaign, celebrities including Kerry Washington, Jon Hamm, and Common face the camera head-on wearing It’s On Us t-shirts and hoodies. They take turns finishing each other’s sentences: “It’s on us” “to get in the way before it happens.” “It’s on us” “to not blame the victim.” Former Vice President Biden and former President Obama appear at the end of the video. Biden says “It’s on us, all of us, to stop sexual assault.” Obama encourages viewers to “learn how and take the pledge at It’sOnUs.org.” The pledge has four parts: 1. To recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault. 2. To identify situations in which sexual assault may occur. 3. To inter-
vene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given. 4. To create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported. To date, over 440,000 people have signed the pledge, adding their names to a list of supporters who see themselves as part of the solution to end sexual assault. Skaller said she used the pledge as the first action step anyone at a presentation could take. She would end her events by asking people to pull out their phones and take the pledge. “Sometimes talking about sexual assault can leave you feeling helpless,” she said.
“But I want people to feel inspired to take action. People from every identity, every community have the ability to take the pledge to change the culture they’re in and the campus they’re on.” The pledge, operatively, doesn’t include specific action items. The open structure of the national organization allowed student voices to take the It’s On Us mission and national recognition and apply it to their own campuses. It built a network of student voices creating change from the ground up. “They recognize that every institution and every culture is different,” Skaller said. “By being general at the national level, it allows students to use own talents.”
“It’s On Us completely changed my life. It gave me a voice when I didn’t think I deserved a voice.” — Samantha Skaller, former It’s On Us Syracuse University leader
Now, over 500 campus chapters across the country host events and advocate for policy change, as well as en07
courage their student bodies to sign the pledge and be a part of the solution. The national chapters of some fraternities and sororities have become It’s On Us partner organizations. For many campus chapters, the pledge serves as the springboard for a conversation, a structured way to approach sexual assault with the backing of a national organization. Rachel Gerstenfeld, currently a junior psychology major at the University of Washington, founded her school’s chapter of It’s On Us. She is now in her second year working with It’s On Us as a member of the Student Advisory Committee. Last year, she created a presentation that took the four main tenets of the national campaign’s pledge, then added specific bullet points underneath each that were specific to UW resources. Along 08
with her team of volunteers from different campus communities, she gave the presentation to student groups that make up the campus’s social patchwork, from ROTC to international students to sororities.
start a movement that would last for years to come.”
“Sexual violence affects every community,” she said. “It was important to me and my team that we don’t leave anyone out of the conversation.”
“Even though it’s a frustrating, tough problem, we wanted it to be about working together,” she said.
The campaign allowed them to reach staff and senior administration, all the way up to the university president, Ana Mari Cauce. They are now working with the Associate Vice President of Student Life and the school’s Title IX coordinator to get more student input on sexual assault policies on campus. “There are lots of single days, single nights to raise awareness for sexual assault,” Gerstenfeld said. “But I wanted to
Gerstenfeld believes that the campaign’s empowering tone helped them build healthy relationships with the administration.
* As the national It’s On Us campaign continues to grow beyond the original PSA videos and pledge, It’s On Us recently hired Elvin Bruno, Jr. as Campus Program Director to bring the organization closer to students who have been working on the campaign on the ground. Bruno’s background is in campus political organizing, and as a recent college graduate himself, he is passionate about working to empower young people on campus. This year, seven student Regional Advisors will guide the 105-member Student Advisory Committee, the organiza-
tion’s biggest yet. The advisory committee will, in turn, share goals with the nearly 250 Campus Organizers, representing 44 states and the District of Columbia.
sary events, for social media campaigns. Bruno’s goal is to use his organizing experience to help all It’s On Us campus chapters become more than just a visibility campaign.
On a recent organizing call, Bruno addressed hundreds of It’s On Us student leaders.
“The pledge is incredible,” Bruno said. “We still want it to be the flagship, but now it’s just the first step of a college
“Looking at the year ahead, I’m most excited to see where you take this organization and how much you grow,” he told the students. “It’s On Us is gearing up to celebrate our third anniversary, and we have a chance to write a new chapter for the organization.” That new chapter is focusing on a stronger structure with more specific directions coming from the national offices. For the first time, every campus chapter will have five core team members with specific, dedicated responsibilities, such as active bystander training and survivor resources. The kickoff call gave an overview of specific action items — for team member recruitment, for upcoming anniver-
the rights of accused students. She plans to enact new rules after a public comment period. Advocates fear that in new version will shift protections away from victim-survivors and toward students accused of sexual assault. While the It’s On Us student leaders are still processing
“Sexual violence affects every community. It was important that we didn’t leave anyone out of the conversation” — Rachel Gerstenfeld, It’s On Us University of Washington leader
student getting involved. We want to take the people who sign the pledge and make them action-takers.” The new chapter also comes at an inflection point for sexual assault activism. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently rescinded the Obama-era Title IX guidelines, stating that colleges need more freedom to account for
what the impending changes may be, they aren’t cowed. “Regardless of political climate, this type of advocacy is here to stay,” Skaller said. “No matter what happens with Title IX, no matter what happens politically, the students are the leaders of this. And we aren’t going anywhere.”
Q&A: Jonathan Gibralter The President of Wells College on becoming an “accidental champion” for combating dangerous drinking Interviewed By Marjorie Malpiede
Jonathan Gibralter is a threetime college president and a leading spokesperson for preventing dangerous drinking on college campuses. He is the co-chair of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) President’s Working Group to Address Harmful Student Drinking. He was instrumental in developing the College Alcohol Intervention Matrix (CollegeAIM), arguably the most instructive tool available for addressing excessive drinking and substance abuse on campus. Since July 2015, he has served as president of Wells College, a nationally recognized private, coeducational liberal arts college in Aurora, New York. Gibralter also served for nine years as president of Frostburg State University, a much larger state school in western Maryland with a very different set of student-affairs concerns. While he eschews the phrase “party school,” Gibralter 10
was appalled by the culture of excessive drinking he discovered when he arrived at Frostburg. He quickly led an institution-wide initiative to curb dangerous drinking, resulting in his campus serving as a national model, as well as making Gibralter the go-to president on this critical topic. In speaking with him about his experience, Gibralter is thoughtful and candid about becoming, in his words, an “accidental champion” for combating dangerous drinking among college students. He is a scholar, educator, and administrator first, one who cares deeply about young adults and their education. Drinking and substance abuse get in the way of that, he says, sometimes in tragic and devastating ways. Despite the progress being made in this area, Gibralter remains very concerned about drinking among college students and disturbed by what he sees as the continued resistance, on the part of many
leaders in higher education, to devote the full power of their institutions to fight the problem. Mary Christie Quarterly: How did you come to take this on so aggressively? Jonathan Gibralter: To tell you the truth, I don’t think I took it on — I think it took me on. It seems to me there are only a handful of presidents who are willing to speak out on this topic, and the number-one reason they do so is because something bad has happened at their college. I was in this category. I arrived in Frostburg in 2005 to assume the presidency of Frostburg State University, and I was pretty appalled by what I saw. Soon after I arrived, we had a terrible incident involving an intoxicated student that left a person disabled. I decided, right then and there, that this was going to stop.
Photo by David Foote/Wells College
Wells College President Jonathan Gibralter has led institution-wide efforts to curb drinking.
MCQ: How did you go about addressing the problem? JG: I started by putting together a task force that was comprehensive, going beyond just faculty, staff, and students. I also included landlords, bar
owners, police officers, and university police on the task force. I brought everybody to the table and said, “I think we all have the same goal here at heart. We know that students, for the most part, aren’t yet mature enough to always
make the right decisions, and we don’t want any more harm coming to them. How can we put programs in place that meet those goals?” We settled on a three-pronged approach. The first prong 11
was about the individual. For example, all freshman students had to complete the AlcoholEdu course. It’s the single most effective online tool out there today that actually leads to a change in drinking behavior and an increase in understanding. We then developed new programming for all freshmen in their orientation class that lasted the first semester, during which they were
really supportive of what we were trying to do. And so we worked closely with them. We gave them an award, an honor every year because we were in their establishments putting place cards on tables. We were making sure that they had the right equipment to properly ID students. We met with law enforcement, a group which, by its nature, is very protective of information. We said, “We
I think that college presidents who speak out and try to find a safe environment for students ultimately find that more people will be attracted to their campus.
required to attend a certain number of alcohol-prevention programs. The third prong was an external focus, because so much of our problem was sourced off campus. We talked to landlords. We talked to bar owners. When I went to the liquor control board, everyone told me, “You’ll never get bar owners to the table, so don’t waste your time.” But you know what? I had so many people at the table, they couldn’t all fit in my conference room! They wanted to have the conversation and were 12
need you all to be aligned.” And we were able to get all of these different organizations to share that information more widely. We identified properties where there was a lot of high-risk drinking going on, and together we created a geo-positional map so that parents who were helping their student find off-campus housing could learn, for example, that the property at 224 Main Street had 12 arrests last year. So maybe 224 Main Street isn’t the best choice for their student to live. We also used an academic approach to put an end to
what had become, for many students, the three-day party weekend starting on Thursday night. I got the entire College of Business at Frostburg to hold required classes on Friday morning at 8 a.m. We learned through our surveys that this made a big difference to kids in helping to curb excessive partying. Overall, it was really difficult to figure out what works, what doesn’t work, and what you can afford to do. The CollegeAIM study (first released in 2015) is a huge resource for all of us now in this area. I was a facilitator on this effort and we were really committed, either to do something meaningful, or not do anything at all. Now, college administrators can look at these best practices and say, “Out of the five best strategies, three of them are really expensive, and two of them might not work in my environment, but I’m going to put my money on these other two and see if it works.” MCQ: Did you encounter resistance? JG: Sure. I had a lot of students say, “You can’t do this. I came here to have a good time!” I’d say, “I’m doing it. If you don’t want to be here, then go somewhere else.” MCQ: What about parents? JG: You know 90 percent
of the time, when we call a parent and say, “Are you aware of the fact that your son or daughter just engaged in an incident involving excessive drinking?” the parent will almost always reply that “my kid doesn’t drink.” We had a lot of educating to do. When I first started this work, people would tell me, “Don’t talk about this to parents because you’ll scare them away.” But I have actually found that when we talk straight to parents and let them know what we are doing to keep their kids safe, they are very appreciative. In fact, I think that college presidents who speak out and try to find a safe environment for students ultimately find that more people will be attracted to their campus. MCQ: Where did you focus your efforts from the student population perspective? JG: The truth is, only about 10 percent of students who attend college can be categorized as high-risk drinkers. Those are the kids whose goal for the night is to get blackout drunk; they will “pre-game” before they go to a party, so they will already be drunk when they get there. We spent a lot of time and attention trying to get to these kids, because they were the ones who were coming
up through the disciplinary board and the ones who were flunking out of school. MCQ: What impact did this have at Frostburg State? JG: We did an estimate a couple of years ago where we considered the time that public safety officers were devoting to dealing with drunk students; the faculty on judicial boards who were dealing with students regarding those alcohol-related incidents; and the amount of time that counseling center staff were spending with these students. We then factored in the losses from the attrition rate of students who left school due to alcohol (nationally seen to be between 10 and 15 percent). When we looked at the cost of recruiting those students, we found that cost to be about $1.5 million dollars a year that we could save if we didn’t have alcohol issues in 10 percent or less of our students. From a prevalence perspective, we took the level of high-risk drinking at Frostburg from about 57 percent down to 35 percent, which is roughly the national average. But the other thing I’m proud of is that, over the course of seven or eight years, the number of Frostburg students who don’t drink at all has risen dramatically. These students and their parents
know that the school is now a much safer and healthier environment for them. And there are a lot of families out there looking for those kinds of environments where wellness is valued. MCQ: What is the most important piece of advice you would give other college presidents? JG: If I were to suggest to other college presidents what I thought was the most effective intervention, it would be for them to stand up personally and make a commitment. They need to say, “This is going to change and I need you all to know that I will be the person leading that effort.” They need to say, “This matters. I take the trust of our families very seriously and I take the lives of our students very seriously and I’m going to empower you, AOD counselors, and I’m going to empower you, student life directors, and I will be behind you 100 percent.” This is the most helpful thing a president can do. MCQ: Do you see presidents stepping up to the task on this? JG: There are a number of presidents, like Dartmouth’s, who are making this an institutional priority, but not enough of them. Maybe alcohol is very much a part of their culture. Maybe they’re 13
afraid if they talk about it honestly and authentically, they will offend alumni and people will stop giving to the college. But I would say to them [that] this has not been my experience. When you look at what’s happening around the country — with increasing numbers of students involved in alcohol-related deaths — no one wants that. Everyone wants to make sure kids are safe. MCQ: Is there a place for moderate drinking in college? JG: Yes. For example, here at
Wells College, we have a pub on campus that serves alcohol to students 21 and older. I think college campuses can be an environment that teaches students to drink responsibly so that they can conduct themselves responsibly after they graduate. But I think it is just as important for colleges to give students the message that you can have a good time without alcohol. And although we also use AlcoholEdu at Wells, I have not found it necessary to carry over some of the other elements of the Frostburg State approach. It’s an applesand-oranges situation, and there is no cookie-cutter
approach. For starters, Wells is a tenth the size of Frostburg State. It’s a small campus, one where everyone knows each other. In addition, we only have two off-campus establishments within a mile of campus that serve alcohol. Because of these and other factors, Wells simply doesn’t face many of the same alcohol- and drugrelated challenges that a state school like Frostburg does, and thus, our faculty and staff take a different approach that’s a good fit for our small campus.
Elements of President Jonathan Gibralter’s Alcohol Reduction Plan at Frostburg State University • Campus police patrol off-campus student neighborhoods, and the school gives the city money to hire and train its officers. • A student who’s arrested or cited by city police also faces university discipline, and the incident is reported to that student’s parents. • Friday classes are scheduled to curtail Thursday-night revelry.
• “Dry” programs — such as crafts, magicians, or “sober karaoke” — are offered on weekends. • Freshmen must pass an online alcohol education course, with in-person counseling for those seemingly at risk.
Project LETS: A Strong, New Voice in Peer-to-Peer Support The organization trains students to provide mental health support for peers By Marjorie Malpiede and Blair Ballard Project LETS is a peer sup- ticism among the established around mental health, wheth-
port and advocacy organization that launched its first campus chapter at Brown University. Founder and current Executive Director Stefanie Kaufman started the organization in 2009 and piloted its Peer Mental Health Advocate (PMHA) program at Brown in 2015. In October, Project LETS will hold a conference and training seminar on the Brown campus for student leaders from other schools seeking to open their own chapters. Among the participants are fellow Ivies: Princeton, Columbia, Yale, and Penn. Project LETS’ transformation from one student group at one college to a national network of campus-based chapters is indicative of a growing movement in college behavioral health. Peer-to-peer programs are becoming the first resource of choice for many college students experiencing emotional and behavioral problems, and the object of both appreciation and skep-
college mental health commu- er it is getting help with an nity. issue or getting accommodations if you have a diagnosis,” Project LETS is short for Kaufman said. Let’s Erase the Stigma, which speaks to its value in reaching Kaufman is a recent Brown students who might be reluc- graduate with enormous entant to go to the college coun- ergy and intelligence and a seling center, due, in part, to history of depression. Like the stigma that continues to everyone on her team, she exist around has lived expemental health. rience, which Project LETS, she believes is and numerous critical to helpprograms like it ing others with throughout the mental illness country, give on campus. She students relatand her leaderable, emotional ship team train support; direcstudents, who tion in accessbecome Peer ing resources; Mental Health and advocacy, Advocates to either in navigating or con- help other students with anyfronting school policies or in thing from navigating the learning their rights under health center to understandthe Americans with Disabili- ing what it’s like to live in a ties Act (ADA). dorm with OCD. “We started Project LETS beThere are many reasons stucause there was a lot of con- dents seek help from their fusion and fear on campus peers. Many fear that reveal15
ing conditions could adversely impact their education either through discrimination by professors, hospitalization, or forced medical leave. Mental health services on college campuses can be complicated. If students go to the counseling center and get referred to the community, many get stymied by the list of options; others won’t be able to afford it or, if they use family insurance, they may fear their parents will find out which can be a real issue for students in some cultures. Project LETS helps students with diagnosis as well as those Kaufman says, “need someone to talk to when they know something is wrong but they’re not ready to go to a counselor.” Research affirms that there remains a disconnect between students in need and campus resources: 80 percent of students who die by suicide are unknown to campus counseling centers, and a majority of students who either report or screen for mental illness do not seek treatment.
Peers also tend to have a far more powerful influence over each other than professionals, and research has shown that distressed students turn to peers — a friend, roommate, or teammate — before anyone else. It is not surprising that peerto-peer networks are popping up on campuses across the country. Most of the programs are fairly similar, but there are some nuances. They can focus on relapse prevention, helping navigate relationships with healthcare providers, stress reduction, even emerging research. The efficacy of peer -to-peer support, when used in conjunction with professional treatment, is very strong. One of the few national groups is Active Minds, which focuses on developing and supporting peer-driven mental health education, advocacy and awareness on college campuses. They help connect students with resources, create more productive and open conversations about mental illness, and serve as a liaison
between students and mental health professionals. While the majority of these programs are run in partnership with, or as an extension of the counseling center on campus, Project LETS is different: they operate as “charters,” independent from the counseling center and one of the only few led by students with lived experience. The Project LETS website reflects its unique point of view. “We are trained students dedicated to supporting our peers outside of their therapy appointments, and in an alternative, friendly way. Each of us have valuable insight to pass along, and know who to point you towards if the situation requires more help than we can provide. We understand we’re not professionals. But we are the people this affects. The ones living with mental illness — every day of our lives.” If there is a defensive tone in this narrative it may be that Project LETS, like many peer organizations, is used to refuting what many in traditional
Photo by Oscar Dupuy d’Angeac
Molly Hawes (l) and Stefanie Kaufman (r) lead a Peer Mental Health Advocate training session for Project LETS at Brown University.
counseling see as risks associated with peers supporting peers in distress. Some fear that the paraprofessional nature of peer support is not adequate to deal with very serious situations. Others worry that those who share their own experiences with mental illness don’t have the neutrality that the counseling com-
munity considers an industry norm. But regardless of the concern, most professionals believe peer programs have a role to play in student health and wellness – an area fraught with high demand, inadequate capacity and, in some cases, policies that are far
from “student-centered.” Molly Hawes, Director of Expansion for Project LETS, identifies a good reason for counseling centers to take peer programs seriously. “These conversations happening anyway, all time,” she said. “Students trying to provide help
are the are for 17
their friends, but they don’t have the skills to do so, and they come to us looking for support.”
(Counseling and Psychological Services) and groups like Project LETS can be the ultimate win-win for students.
“There are lots of different ways to support people, and there are lots of different things that help people feel better.” — Will Meek, Brown University Counseling Director Will Meek is glad they do. Meek is the Counseling Director at Brown who, since starting his job in 2017, has embraced Project LETS as a partner in better supporting students with mental health issues on campus. “There are lots of different ways to support people, and there are lots of different things that help people feel better,” he said. In a lengthy interview at Brown this past summer, Meek, Kaufman, and Hawes presented a compelling case for how a well-coordinated relationship between CAPS 18
Meek says his interest in working with LETS was pretty simple. After meeting with their leadership and learning about their skills and training criteria, Meek found the LETS chapter at Brown to be a help-seeking channel that ultimately connects more struggling students with the services they need. “It was clear that students loved them,” he said. Meek described situations where a PMHA would email him with concerns about a student who may have had a negative experience with
CAPS in the past, asking how to help. Sometimes, PMHAs walk students to CAPS for help. “The idea that someone from Project LETS might be up with a person since 4:00 in the morning and when the CAPS office opens at 8:30 a.m., they say, ‘Let’s go over there together.’ From my perspective, that’s awesome.” Meek sees Project LETS as an advocate in a number of changes he hopes to make at the university, including improving the intake process so that students can get the support they need, when they need it. “Some students just want to have a touch point, to work through something that they are struggling with,” said Meek, who has hired an Urgent Care Clinician who sees students who have immediate needs for same-day appointments. They rarely do the lengthy intakes that many centers do. “We need to be more creative with the ways we initial-
ly see students,” he continued. “Some people can be helped with one visit if we focus our efforts in the right places.” Meek also supports Project LETS’ disability justice agenda and believes that educating the campus on students’ rights under the ADA is critically important. “If someone has a physical
disability, professors aren’t asking questions when they need accommodations, but with psychiatric stuff, a lot of folks don’t see it as legitimate. These guys (Project LETS) know the policies and the law very well, and that’s a big part of what they do.” According to Kaufman, having the strong support of the
Substance Use on College Campuses New Solutions to a Perennial Problem
counseling director has been a game changer for the Brown chapter. “It has been one of the most affirming things for me to have this person in a position of power saying, ‘We’re fighting the same battle here. Let’s have a transparent discussion on how to make things better.’”
Join national leaders in higher education, substance use prevention and policymaking to discuss the latest trends, challenges and innovations in addressing student substance use on America’s college campuses.
October 17, 2017 v University of Maryland Presented by:
For more information and to RSVP: http://marychristiefoundation.org/events/ 19
Opinion: Students with Type 1 Diabetes Need More Support The College Diabetes Network’s Off to College program helps students and parents deal with transitional stress By Christina Roth affect my academic performance?” “Who will wake me up in the middle of the night if I have low blood sugar?” “How do I drink safely with diabetes?” Many people don’t know what T1D is, let alone why it might be tough for a college student to manage this complex chronic illness while also adjusting to college life.
Christina Roth, Chief Executive Officer & Founder, College Diabetes Network
can be tough for anyone: grappling with a new environment, new friends, new classes, and newfound independence all at once isn’t easy. For students with type 1 diabetes (T1D), this transition can be even more complex, as they deal with a whole other set of questions: “How do I talk to my roommate about my diabetes?” “How will I talk to my professors about how high and low blood sugar can 20
The College Diabetes Network (CDN) is a nonprofit whose mission is to provide innovative peer-based programs that connect and empower students and young professionals to thrive with diabetes. Each spring and summer, as a new class of students makes their college decisions and begins to prep for the transition, CDN receives the same set of questions from young adults and their parents about how to safely and successfully transition into college. To answer those questions, we at CDN created the Off to College program. Through
events and guidebooks, the program helps students and their support networks navigate the transition. Before CDN, there was a lot of anxiety around these topics, but not a lot of answers. Although there were resources for children and adults, college students were a neglected population. It’s no wonder that 71 percent of students currently report difficulty managing diabetes in college. Living with T1D is a nonstop job. The autoimmune disease prevents beta cells in the pancreas from making insulin, which affects the body’s ability to process food and turn it into energy. A person with T1D spends several hours per day managing the disease. Anything from food — even a simple cup of coffee, to stress, a cold, or exercise can impact blood sugars for those living with this chronic illness. All of these variables can come to a head during the college years
between finals, dining halls, the transition to college and and books include informaand all-nighters. Managing a keep students safe while also tion on how to best commudisease that makes you feel allowing them to gain autono- nicate about T1D with young “different” and alone is often my over their T1D. adults while they are on camnot on the top of most T1D colpus, common issues parents lege students’ face when to-do lists. sending their Not manBefore CDN, there was a lot of anxiety around T1D child to aging this college, how disease can these topics, but not a lot of answers. Although to approach create long- there are resources for children and adults, c o l l a b o r a term nega- college students were a neglected population. tion on their tive health child’s care, effects, which and how to is something make sure that is often hard for young their child utilizes resources Managing T1D as a young on campus, such as disability adults to fully grasp when distracted by all that is happen- adult raises questions about services or registering for acpsychosocial concerns, man- commodations. ing during the college years. agement, and personal inCDN created the Off to Col- dependence. CDN has heard Based on feedback from clilege program to support this success stories from several nicians, CDN will be launchpopulation. The first phase of families that they use these ing clinician-specific handthis program was a guide and resources as a guide from day outs this year that cover some handouts for clinics, nonprof- one when their child with “touchy topics” that can be it organizations, and hospitals T1D starts the college search difficult to discuss with pato use to host Off to College process, all the way through tients, such as relationships, events for high school upper- when they move in, and con- drinking, and drugs. classmen and their parents. tinue to use it to navigate CDN is proud of the impact it Based on the positive feed- tough questions and scenarihas already had on students back of the handouts, CDN os throughout the school year. turned the information into The guides have helped par- and their families. Recently, a audience-specific booklets – ents know when to ask their CDN parent emailed our staff one for students and one for child about their diabetes and to say they heard CDN was parents. how much involvement they impacting families’ decisions about where to go for school. should have in their care. Pooling the expertise of CDN “High school seniors and students, our Clinical AdvisoFor students with T1D to ry Committee, and partners manage the transition from their parents are factoring to create these materials, we home to campus, everyone in CDN into their college decihave created a gold standard their support network needs sion making process,” they of information and support to be working in tandem, in- wrote. “Now, you just need for young people with dia- cluding their parents, clinical to get CDN into every college betes going through this life team, campus administration, in America, so kids with T1D transition. We help simplify and peers. The hosting kits can go to the college of their choice!” 21
College is a time for experimentation, growth, and transformation. CDN works to ensure that those living with T1D on campus are able to experience everything college has to offer, from living in a dorm to trying new classes to studying abroad, all without their diabetes getting in the way. By helping these young adults successfully transition from home to campus – and
then to the workplace – CDN is ensuring the next generation is ready to be empowered diabetes advocates. * If you are interested in receiving the Off to College Booklets for parents and students, you can preview our Student Booklet here and our Parent Booklet here, and request a digital download of the booklets here.
Christina Roth is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of CDN. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 14, Christina became an active patient advocate while in college where she started CDN as a campus group in 2009. Due to the overwhelming response to the initial group, Christina expanded CDN into its current form — a national non-profit organization serving young adults with type 1 diabetes.
How you go to college matters more than where you go to college How can we as parents, educators and members of the business community prepare students to be successful leaders in today’s global environment? It’s a critically important question. Bentley University President Gloria Cordes Larson explains how higher education should embrace a new model for preparedness. Read more of President Larson’s views in our June cover article, “Bentley’s Big Idea.”
Moving Dartmouth Forward A Q&A with Dartmouth President Philip Hanlon Interviewed By Marjorie Malpiede
It is hard to change something that, in many ways, seems so idyllic. With its ivy walls nestled amidst the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Dartmouth College may be the most iconic school in the country, right down to its green, leafy quad and bright, outdoorsy students. But Dartmouth’s current president, Philip Hanlon, has no illusions about the school he leads and loves. One of his primary goals since becoming president is to address a disturbing sub-culture of binge drinking, sexual assault, and elitism that runs counter to Dartmouth’s outer beauty and, in Hanlon’s words, its “heart and soul.” Hanlon is a Dartmouth alumnus, as well as a mathematician and seasoned administrator who came to Dartmouth in 2013 from the University of Michigan, where he was provost. By then, the school had been heavily targeted by the press for the legendary bad-boy behavior that presumably began back when Dartmouth was an exclusive men’s college. But the school, co-ed since 1972, had attracted a diverse set of
highly accomplished students, the majority of whom resisted, if not resented, the school’s legacy of privilege and partying. This culture clash was a fork in the road: Would the storied “rural Ivy” turn a blind eye to what Hanlon described as “too many harmful behaviors,” or would it move forward? In 2015, Hanlon took the latter path in a bold and visible way with a widely-publicized announcement launching “Moving Dartmouth Forward.” Peers report it is the most comprehensive student affairs initiative in the country, aiming straight at the bullseye of excessive drinking, sexual violence, racism, and exclusion. MDF focuses on a range of goals, from creating a safer environment to building a more diverse and inclusive campus to strengthening student leadership, health, and wellness. Some of the components of MDF are an amalgamation of existing best practices: alcohol education, bystander training for sexual assault, stricter codes of conduct for all student organizations; some are
experimental like the house communities initiative. But what has colleges around the country taking a closer look is the way they are combined and administered — cumulatively, over four years, and with the engagement of every office on campus. In late August, with the orientation process for new students in full swing, we talked with President Hanlon about what motivated him to employ such a sweeping strategy; what he believes are its successes thus far; and what about Dartmouth he would NOT change as he directs its major transformation. Mary Christie Quarterly: You were a fairly new president when you launched Moving Dartmouth Forward. What motivated you to take on such a wide-scale initiative? Philip Hanlon: The number one motivation for MDF was that our campus, like every campus I know, was experiencing too many harmful behaviors among the student body — too much sexual as23
sault and violence, too much high-risk drinking — so the primary goal was to reduce that as much as possible. The second motivation came from a sense I got when I first arrived that the campus was so agitated by these harmful behaviors that it was difficult for us to focus on our core academic mission.
ly. We were clear about our goals and we said them over and over again. We wanted to make sure the community was not wasting its time wondering if we were serious about these issues. They could rest assured that we were.
I wanted to put the strongest programs in place to address these issues so that people could refocus on academics. Dartmouth, for a long time, did not have the greatest reputation, which was masking the real strengths of the college. We want Dartmouth to be viewed for what it is: a very serious academic place.
PH: I guess it’s a little bit of both. It is reactive to a set of issues that are too prevalent at Dartmouth and everywhere else. It’s proactive in that it is a galvanizing moment to move forward without having some kind of specific incident — like a student death — that triggered it. We took this on without there being a burning platform.
MCQ: Changing culture is not easy. How did you go about it? PH: Before we launched MDF, we spent a great deal of time planning for it. When we were ready to implement, we felt confident we had the makings of something really transformational. We then communicated this broad-
MCQ: Would you say MDF is proactive or reactive?
MCQ: What do you think are its strongest components? PH: Diversity and inclusivity are a big part of MDF. We firmly believe that the deepest learning, the best problem-solving, the most effective prediction comes from groups who bring diverse perspectives. There’s a lot of research to support
this which means, if you’re a campus, you have to not only have a diverse community, you have to have an inclusive community so that people are working together who come from very different kinds of backgrounds. I think inclusivity as an institutional goal is
really driven by our core mission of being a great academic place. One of our signature initiatives was the house communities system (random residential assignments for students that stay consistent over time and include social activities, intellectual engagement, and a strong faculty presence). This attempted to solve a problem at Dartmouth related to our D-plan, where s t u dents c a n
choose from year-round terms, including summer, which means that students are continuously coming and going in and out of dorms. We wanted to put some consistency around that so that your residency hall was a place where you had another set of stable friends, a stable community. Adding to that, we wanted to facilitate even more interaction between faculty and students, which I think is a great strength of Dartmouth’s, but I wanted to take it to the next level. Every house has a house professor, a space for entertaining, and a social budget. Here we wanted students to have more options for social interaction, especially options that were not gender defined, like fraternities or sororities. That helped with the inclusivity part. MCQ: What about your sexual assault prevention program is different than most? PH: The MDF plan calls for a comprehensive and mandatory four-year sexual violence
prevention and education program; a first-responder training program for faculty and staff; the creation of an online “consent manual;” and a Dartmouth-specific safety app. We also have a great partnership with a local advocacy and crisis services organization. The ongoing education piece is really important. It was kind of a wake-up call for us when we realized we were talking about sexual assault and violence in orientation, but we never went back. When you only do it in orientation, you’re talking in the abstract because students have not yet experienced college social life. Now those educational opportunities happen throughout your four years here. The other piece that has been really effective is our bystander training program for students and faculty. Research shows that the preponderance of sexual assaults are committed by a few serial predators, so the question is: How do you figure out who they are and stop them? Having the whole
Photos by Rob Strong
Dartmouth College President Philip Hanlon in his office on the school’s New Hampshire campus. Hanlon launched the comprehensive Moving Dartmouth Forward campaign in 2015.
community involved in that effort is really helpful. Our students have been incredibly responsive around this issue, which reinforces something that I think is a Dartmouth cultural trait, that students here are really supportive of one another. Our standing in the AAU survey 26
showed we are number one in the country on this. (According to the Association of American Universities’ survey, Dartmouth had the highest rate of bystanders who took some type of action when they saw someone acting in a “sexually violent or harassing manner,” with 57.7 percent doing so. Nationally,
45.5 percent of students did something when witnessing this same sort of situation.) MCQ: What specific steps have you taken to curb binge drinking? PH: I think we’ve gotten the best results out of our educational programming, which
includes BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students), but the effort that has gotten the most attention is the hard alcohol ban. This was very specifically targeted at getting students to stop, or at least reduce, drinking shots. The amount of alcohol shots that are consumed in “pre-gaming” sessions is just hard to believe. Prior to the ban, we were just about in line with the nation — 50 percent of our students said they had drunk shots in the last two weeks. This last year, we were at 28 percent, a reduction of almost a half. MCQ: Did you get a lot of resistance around infringement of individual rights and that sort of thing? PH: Yes, we did, but look, we don’t allow smoking. We don’t allow guns. There are a lot of things we don’t allow. MCQ: Did you target specific student populations? PH: We did develop programs specifically for certain groups like athletes and fra-
ternity houses — students considered at higher risk for drinking. We have a great program called “Dartmouth Peak Performance,” which is aimed at academic success, emotional wellbeing, and physical wellbeing, the whole package. In regards to drinking, it really speaks to athletes’ motivations. The syllabus we put together tells you what happens to you physically when you binge drink — how many training days you lose when you have one night of binge drinking. MCQ: What has been your experience with the fraternities and sororities on campus? PH: This was a major focus of ours. Our plan called for the elimination of pledging, an annual review process, more faculty advisor participation, and a new code of conduct. At the beginning, we didn’t get a lot of engagement with them. Now, however, most of the houses have really stepped up. Those that haven’t (two in particular) are no longer part
of the Dartmouth community. MCQ: What is your view on eliminating Greek life? PH: I feel it is not my job, nor the job of the administration, to tell students how to associate. It is my job to say, “When you associate, here are the expectations about how you’re going to contribute positively to campus and if you can’t live up to those expectations, there is going to be accountability.” I think there are many positive things that come from socially-based, residential student organization, including Greek life. MCQ: How did alumni respond to MDF? PH: This is the one constituent response that surprised me. The mythology was, when I came here, if you touch the social scene at Dartmouth, alumni are going to rise up. That has not been the case at all. Alumni, as a group, have been incredibly supportive. I think they are sick and tired of reading bad news stories about Dartmouth.
I wanted to put the strongest programs in place to address these issues so that people could refocus on academics. MCQ: How do you feel about your progress now that you are two and a half years in? PH: We’ve got all sorts of metrics that indicate progress, but I think the most uplifting thing for me is that it feels like the campus is calm and determined on these issues. I also think there’s been a real reputational change. Dartmouth has not been the subject of a bad news story in two and a half years. Anecdotally, I’ve heard from more than one source that Dartmouth is no longer considered the “party Ivy.” It’s now the “chill Ivy,” which I’ve been told is a good thing. You can see the real evidence of this change in admissions. The admissions cycle we just finished for this fall was the
most successful admissions cycle we have ever seen in history. Our yield, which has already been around 50 percent — so that’s of the students we admit, the fraction who actually come — jumped up to 61 percent. The largest increases in yield were among the most academically qualified students in terms of credentials, like grade point average, the number of students who are valedictorian, salutatorians, SAT scores, etc. The SAT average went up 38 points from last year. We’ve had an incredible increase in quality and numbers. MCQ: What about diversity? PH: Just as diverse as ever. Along all the metrics.
MCQ: Do you ever worry you’ll change too much? What about Dartmouth do you hope stays the same? PH: We’ve worked a lot on this question, asking ourselves the same thing. It comes down to this: What is the heart and soul of Dartmouth? We have got to make sure that doesn’t change. There are four pillars that I think fall into this category. The first is a tight community that is based intellectually on a foundation of direct interaction between faculty and students. We expect our faculty to be outstanding at teaching and research. You just have to be terrific at both. Second, Dartmouth has an unwavering commitment to liberal arts. Here, that means having a broad knowledge of the world but, more important, having a passion to always be broadly educated. Another way of saying it is we are committed to educating a quality of mind for the long game. We’re not getting you ready for your next year
after graduation, we’re getting you ready for life. Third is that we have a profound sense of place. No one has a setting like ours. We are in an isolated place that is remarkably beautiful and can also be challenging on February mornings. Lastly, related
to that, we have a great sense of adventure here. There’s something about Dartmouth students that they come here ready for anything. These are some of the things I hope never change about us. At the end of the day, we want to bring 18-year-olds into our
community and transform the quality of their lives. We want to have them exit with powerful intellectual tools and a desire to make the world a better place using those tools. Anything that gets in the way of that, to me, is something we need to address.
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The Mary Christie Foundation’s weekly roundup of news and research on the health and wellness of young adults
CUMU Leverages the Power of Community The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities brings together schools who engage beyond the campus By Ashira Morris and Marjorie Malpiede Today, urban colleges and In 1989, CUMU was found- institutions to share best pracuniversities are a significant ed by a group of presidents tices and provide support. part of the big come-back of the American city. But in the 1980s, urban universities — and the cities that housed them — were experiencing an identity crisis. Before metro areas started to grow again, college and universities located within them were hesitant to emphasize their urban setting. The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) helped these schools reclaim their pride and identity. CUMU is the longest-running and largest organization dedicated to urban and metropolitan universities and their partners. “We try to help our institutions understand their urban advantage, help them live up to their public responsibility, and offer them a network of peers and resources to execute their mission effectively,” said Bobbie Laur, CUMU’s Executive Director. 30
and chancellors, in part, to tell their story. These leaders wanted to emphasize their school’s ties to their broader communities as well as the mutually beneficially relationship one has with the other.
They also recognized that developing a peer group that cared about the challenges urban communities were facing could be a consolidated partner in academic research and could answer some of the questions the cities were facing. Individually, the schools could develop a shared responsibility between the college and the surrounding city. Collectively, they would have a group of equally invested peer
Robert Caret, who is now the Chancellor of the University System of Maryland, was instrumental in the creation of CUMU, and was in the room at Wright State University nearly 30 years ago when the organization was founded. “The vision was to better articulate the role this family of institutions plays in their communities,” said Caret, who at the time was the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Towson University. “The specific challenges and opportunities may change, but the goal is the same, making our communities better, in all ways. The coalition has fulfilled that role admirably and, in this time of
The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities includes schools like Drexel University, located in the heart of downtown Philadelphia.
even more complex challenges, I am sure they will continue to serve that role going forward.” Laur, who is based at Towson University near Baltimore, is now in her twelfth year as the organization’s executive director. She is excited about the future of CUMU and of the urban schools it brings together. “What unites our diverse institutions is having a priority
around place,” Laur said. “Our members have a commitment to thinking about their mission as it relates to the place that they reside.” CUMU reinforces the role that universities play as anchor institutions in the cities they reside in, providing stability as educators, employers, and developers. According to a 2014 report by the Center for American Progress, universities represent three percent of the national economic
output and employ more than 3 million people. Coupled with the fact that more than two-thirds of the country’s jobs are based in major metropolitan areas, CUMU is situated at a crucial intersection for higher education. As their website states: “Our future will be shaped by the success of metropolitan hubs as sources of innovation, creativity, health care, transportation, employment, governance and education.” 31
CUMU helps its institutions live up to that public responsibility to their communities as well as providing them with a network of peers and resources of best practices to execute the mission more effectively. The organization now has close to 100 member schools in more than 50 metropolitan areas. The schools are research-focused universities, small private liberal arts colleges, entire state school systems, and HBCUs. CUMU’s definition of “urban” is relatively loose: there are schools in dense urban centers, like Drexel University in Philadelphia or American University in Washington, DC, as well as schools in smaller metro areas like Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
and service learning models, which integrate meaningful community service with more formal instruction and reflection. It is now commonly used to teach civic responsibility and strengthen community relationships.
Regardless of the city’s size, though, CUMU helps create a win-win-win situation for the university, city, and students, a reciprocity that Laur is quick to point out.
“The university has always had a commitment to service and outreach,” she said, “but [CUMU] really crystalized that we wanted to make sure we weren’t just in the city but of the city.”
“It can’t just be about institutions trying to save their cities,” Laur said. “It has to be about understanding that there’s a reciprocation of knowledge and that universities aren’t the holders of all the knowledge.” One of CUMU’s major contributions in higher education has been its development of the community engagement 32
“Our students have an advantage because they can work in diverse places and diverse communities,” Laur said. “They really get an understanding of what’s happening across this country in a vast sense. Because we are located in cities, we have the opportunity to become more global experts.” For Nyeema Watson, the Associate Chancellor for Civic Engagement at Rutgers University-Camden, CUMU was critical for getting her department off the ground in 2010.
Rutgers’ Office of Civic Engagement exemplifies CUMU’s member pledge “to enrich their metropolitan communities while strengthening the university’s core commitment to teaching and research.” It’s the hub for students, faculty, and staff who want to connect with the community partners in the city of Camden, which
is right across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. Conversely, it’s also the first point of contact for public and private organizations who want to start a partnership with the school. Laur is also excited about the work Devorah Lieberman, President of the University of LaVerne, is doing on the issue of healthcare in her southern California city. The school is working collectively with hospitals in the city to think about healthcare pipelines. Based on health care workforce shortages identified by the school’s hospitals and community health care organizations, Lieberman is focusing on pathways for LaVerne community members to work with the school. As the organization gears up for its annual conference in October — this year themed on “The Urban Advantage” — Laur is also preparing to announce new initiatives for the organization to focus on over the next five years. “CUMU is a place — whether it’s virtually, in person, or on the phone — that feels communal,” Laur said. “It doesn’t feel like they’re limiting. It’s a group of people who share an intellectual interest in the same issues, but with a real focus on practicality.”
Haven at College Addresses Addiction and Stigma On campus treatment and recovery support helps students with addiction stay in school By Marjorie Malpiede In mid-July, the Marvin exhibitor was the Haven at eye-opening acknowledgment
Center at George Washington University was bursting with college students in various forms of predictive behaviors, lounging on lobby furniture, hurrying by on cell phones. But on this particular day, most of the students at the Marvin Center were also participating in the eighth annual National Collegiate Recovery Conference, a meeting where students, advocates, vendors, and experts come together to explore how best to support students recovering from drug and alcohol disorders. The threeday conference of presentations and workshops featured an exhibit hall where vendors, many that treat young people with addictions, host booths. One
College, a national provider of on-campus addiction treatment and recovery support services.
Tending the booth were two young women who seemed continuously engaged in conversation with enthusiastic visitors. On their break, I had the opportunity to speak with them about Havenâ€™s success in helping colleges provide support for recovering students as well as the thousands who are still struggling. Aly Ries is Havenâ€™s Director of East Coast Development. Both Ries and her colleague, Sophie Pyne, are passionate advocates for the support Haven provides. Their narrative on Haven, as well as their own stories, provided an
of the pervasiveness of addiction on college campuses, as well as a testament to the benefits of adopting creative strategies to address it. Haven at College was created by Holly Sherman and Sharon Weber, who met more than ten years ago in a sober housing residence in California. They are both in long-term recovery. As masterâ€™s level professionals who often hid their addiction from their high-performing communities, they related well to young people striving to complete their degrees while challenged by both addiction and stigma. As business people, Sherman and Webber also recognized an enormous untapped demand to provide on-campus support for students and parents. In 2012, they launched Haven at College with a sober residence hall at the University of Southern California. Since then, Haven has expanded to six schools in California and 33
Photo by The Haven at College
Sophie Pyne (l) and Aly Ries (r) at “Pedal on the Pier,” an event in support of the Harold Robinson Foundation. Haven students were involved in raising money for the Foundation to fund a summer camp for children enrolled at inner city schools in LA.
the mid-Atlantic with ambitious plans to break into to the Northeast. Haven now has three distinct programs that represent a continuum of support for students: Haven Recovery Residences for students who 34
live with other recovering students and are supported by a resident director, a recovery counselor, and regular 12step meetings; the Haven Outpatient Centers, which provide on-campus treatment for students who need to address
their substance use, providing both “step-up” or “step-down” services; and Haven Mentoring and Monitoring, a harm reduction program that helps students concerned about their substance use address their behaviors.
“We believe that no college student should have to choose between their recovery and their college experience,” said Ries. “So often we see students who recognize they have a problem, maybe left school to go into treatment and are then faced with a choice: ’Do I protect my recovery and stay home? Or do I go back to school to pursue my degree knowing all of the risk factors surrounding me?’” According to Ries, Haven helps eliminate that painful choice for students in two distinct ways: One is by offering innovative programming that is targeted specifically to their age and circumstance, something young adults don’t always get in traditional 12-step programs. The other is by combatting the stigma associated with substance abuse and sobriety at college by showing that being in recovery does not mean you need to forgo your college experience. The latter challenge is particularly difficult, as anyone who has lived on a college
“We believe that no college student should have to choose between their recovery and their college experience.” — Aly Ries, Director of East Coast Development, Haven at College campus would understand. College, for many, is still regarded as four years to have the “time of your life,” with substance-based partying at the center of it. Ries believes it is why Haven’s student-specific counseling with peer mentoring is so important. “Our counselors are talking to kids about what it’s like to be a 19-year-old on a Saturday night and not drink or use drugs; how to get through finals without study drugs when they are floating through the library; and how to get over social anxiety when you’re in a room full of peers who can numb theirs with alcohol,” she said. Like the resident directors in the Haven homes, Ries has
lived experience. She begins her own story by talking about her loving parents of Irish descent who rarely drank. She was always a good student, but like many who experience addiction, Ries quickly found that her propensity to drink frequently and in large amounts would lead to major problems in her personal life. After beginning to experience consequences, she was determined to get sober. She moved forward and earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. Ries’ colleague, Sophie Pyne, is also in recovery and is a former resident at the Haven House at University of Southern California, where she used to work as a House
Manager. She is now the Case Manager at the Haven Outpatient Center. Pyne and Ries could be any recent graduates, of any college. Their relatability works to combat something they call “othering,” a sense that problems like addiction happen to “other” people with different, distancing circumstances. Pyne works on campus with Haven staff and college administrators, giving her a ground-level view of how Haven can benefit both students and schools. One of Haven’s strengths, they say, is their ability to customize their model to the unique characteristics of any school. Haven begins the campus engagement process with a community mapping effort that gauges the assets and gaps that exist for students. They then make recommendations 36
that are either adopted or adjusted, according to the need. Some schools only choose one program where others incorporate all three along the continuum. Pyne says a good part of her work involves understanding and satisfying the needs of administrators – leaders in student affairs, student counseling, athletics, and student conduct – the people for whom a referral to Haven could make all the difference for a student they’re concerned about. For these administrators, and their provosts and presidents, Haven also offers a solution to a myriad of problems associated with substance use in college – from sexual violence to performance and graduation rates. Excessive drinking has been shown to lead to academic
problems, including missing classes and receiving lower grades. Studies have shown that students who use alcohol and drugs are more likely to have disruptions in their college careers and fail to graduate. Every year, schools lose thousands of students to addiction and untreated mental health issues because they can’t offer transitional support for students in recovery or struggling with their addiction. Considering it is estimated that 20 percent of college students meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder, many colleges are beginning to ask, “What can we do to prevent these problems from happening?” While Haven is not a solution for everyone at every school (cost and private pay are still issues, though one insurance carrier does cover some services), those who use Haven use it robustly. “Our students are the ones that can disrupt the stigma on campus and our campus partners know that,” said Pyne.
Photo by The Haven at College
Haven students study for finals.
“We speak to sororities and fraternities, resident assistants that live in the dorms, and student advocate groups that help us spread the message that recovery is possible on a college campus and that The Haven has programs available to assist students
who may be struggling. There is a long road ahead to fully tackle stigma issues related to college substance use and to get all constituents to understand the harm in tolerating hard partying on campus.
But students are buying into the solution. As one student at a soon-to-be established Haven school said, “I’m for anything that could have kept my best friend here.”
Science Summary A recap of research worth noting. By Dana Humphrey
Public Health Approach to Suicide Prevention and Management on Campus
A new report by Victor Schwartz, Chief Medical Officer of the Jed Foundation, addresses the risk of suicide among college students and explains an emerging approach to suicide prevention on college campuses. Suicide is the second leading cause of death of college-aged young adults, more than all medical illnesses combined. Schwartz argues that while the college environment can be stressful for young people, the boundaries and organized nature of colleges present opportunities to prevent suicide and manage risk. In the report, Schwartz presents the JED/SPRC Model for Comprehensive Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention for Colleges and Universities. The model is an adaptation of a public health-driven program developed by the US Air Force that had been shown to lower rates of suicide among service members. The JED/SPRC model addresses prevention (through supporting skills and enhancing connectedness), early identification and intervention for those at risk, clinical care/crisis management/postvention, and restricting access to means for self-harm. In the report, Schwartz also makes the case that psychiatrists can and should play an important role in suicide prevention on college campuses.
In a new paper published this summer, The Role of Higher Education five economists called into question highin Upward Mobility er educationâ€™s role in promoting upward mobility. Using publicly available statistics, the researchers studied 30 million students between 1999 and 2014, comparing their post-graduation earnings to the incomes of their parents. â€œMobility report cardsâ€? were assigned to each college in the U.S. and showed that the top universities are largely closed to low-income students, and that the best schools for helping students from poor families are accepting fewer and fewer of them. Rates of upward mobility were found to be substantially different across colleges due to the difference in access for low income students across colleges with similar earnings outcomes. At elite private colleges, the fraction of low-income students did not change substantially between 2000-2011, but fell sharply at colleges with the highest rates of upward mobility.
A new research brief from
College Student Gambling and Associ- the College Life Study of The Center on Young Adult Health ated Risky Behaviors
and Development examines the prevalence of gambling activities among college students. It explores the relationships between gambling, substance use, and risk factors including demographics, parental substance use and mental health history, behavioral disinhibition, mental health, and extracurricular involvement. The study found gambling to be associated with alcohol, marijuana, and other drug use, and that gamblers were more likely to be male, athletes, and involved in Greek life. The main predictors of gambling were found to be sex, race, behavioral dysregulation, and extracurricular involvement. The researchers found that few risk factors were exclusively associated with gambling; the effects of sex, race/ethnicity, sensation-seeking, and behavioral dysregulation on gambling and substance use were partially or completely explained by the common overlap of risk factors for both gambling and substance use.
A study published in the journal Microaggressions Associated Race and Social Problems found a with Racist Attitudes positive correlation between undergraduate students use of microaggressions and having racist attitudes. Microaggressions are brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults. The study measured self-reported likelihood to engage in microaggressions and racial prejudice among 118 white undergraduate students. Studentsâ€™ reported likelihood of engaging in macroaggressions was significantly associated with all measures of racial prejudice, and the belief that â€œA lot of minorities are too sensitiveâ€? was the strongest predictor of negative feelings toward black people. Researchers concluded that microaggressions are not simply innocuous behaviors, and may be indicative of negative racial attitudes and underlying hostility toward black students.
A prospective study recently pubSubstance Use as a Predictor to lished in the Journal of American College Health showed that frequent Graduation and Income Level binge drinking and marijuana use during freshman year predicted delayed college graduation and that delayed graduation is associated with lower incomes and more alcohol related problems. The report examined how freshman year substance use predicted time to college graduation, and whether delayed graduation predicted postponed adoption of adult roles and future substance use. Study authors promoted the importance of interventions during freshman year of college to decrease substance use.
Published on Sep 28, 2017
Published on Sep 28, 2017
The Mary Christie Quarterly is a publication of the Mary Christie Foundation, a thought leadership and philanthropic organization dedicated...