Page 1 Created and posted by students and staff from the VCU Wellness Resource Center ©2016

815 S. Cathedral Place, Richmond, VA 23284



SATURDAY AUGUST 20 THROWBACK NIGHT - go back in time with music, novelties and more in the University Student Commons!

SUNDAY AUGUST 21 PLAYFAIR - in the Cary Street Gym. We guarantee that you will walk away with new friends and VCU spirit!



ENTERTAINMENT NIGHT Hypnotist, DJ and novelties in the University Student Commons!





WEDNESDAY AUGUST 24 REC SPORTS NIGHT - Cary Street Gym and Cary Street Field will be filled with activities and much more!



2016 EK

CONVOCATION - in the Siegel Center!



Overwhelmed by all that Welcome Week has to offer? Download the Guidebook App for Android or iPhone and then search VCU Welcome Week 2016. You can personalize your schedule, view maps and stay up to date on the latest information.

Students will receive a raffle ticket at many of the events, which can be traded in for a chance to win prizes at the Student Organization and Volunteer Opportunities (SOVO) Fair on Friday, August 26. Prizes include iPads, flat-screen TVs and more. Collect 10 raffle tickets (two of each of the five colors) for a chance to win the Grand Prize: One semester of free undergraduate in-state tuition!*

*Free tuition is based on the full time in-state tuition rate, and is awarded in the spring semester 2017. If the prize winner is enrolled less than full time the award will be based on the number of hours enrolled and awarded at the in-state rate. As with all financial aid, your award may be adjusted if you exceed financial need or cost of attendance.

Campus Safety

SOVO FAIR - Check out hundreds of student organizations!

VCU requires all incoming students to complete an online training called ”Not Anymore“ about sexual assault, intimate partner violence and stalking. You will learn skills to contribute to a safer campus community. Check your VCU email for details.

SATURDAY AUGUST 27 FOOD-TRUCK-A-PALOOZA - on Floyd Avenue. Enjoy free food from various Richmond food trucks!

Non-Ticketed Events at The Well T1DRams Tea and Coffee Chat

Support in navigating Type 1 Diabetes in college Mon. Aug 22, 4-5 pm Conference Room at The Well


Rams in Recovery Sun. Aug 21, 5-6 pm Gelato Social Fri. Aug 26, 2-3 pm Pizza & Fellowship Meet in the new Recovery Clubhouse

Actively Moving Forward (AMF) 72% of RAMS had between 0-4 drinks the last time they "partied" or socialized.

(Source: The Well's health survey, Spring 2016, n=856) 1 drink=12 oz. beer, 4-5 oz wine, 1 shot liquor

Stall hop to catch our other edition!

Support for dealing with grief and loss Tues. Aug. 23, 12:30-1:30pm Tea & Treats

ALCOHOL 101 Situational Tolerance


avlov and his drooling dogs can teach us a lot about alcohol cravings, tolerance, and overdose. While our bodies don’t drool when they see alcohol, we still develop conditioned responses to drinking. If every weekend we expose our bodies to the same drink, the same taste, the same friends’ faces and similar drinking places, our body “learns” over time to associate these environmental cues with alcohol’s sedative effect- they become our “triggers.” When repeatedly cued by the same drinking triggers our nervous system will anticipate the resulting sedative effects of alcohol and, even before the first drink is taken, speed up the body to compensate. This is called situational (or learned) tolerance and explains why, over time, it takes more drinks to get the same buzz.


Developing a situational tolerance is linked to the potential for alcohol overdose. Let’s say you go on spring break, travel abroad, move from home to college, or drink a different tasting drink. The cues for your situational tolerance are now gone. The body fails to anticipate the sedative effect of alcohol and fails to compensate. If the usual amount of alcohol is consumed in an unusual environment, the risk of overdose becomes increased. This phenomenon is documented in research by Siegel and Ramos. Want to learn more? Visit

Knowledge is power

Recognizing that a new situation or a novel beverage is likely to reduce tolerance, a drinker can choose to drink more slowly or consume less in the hope of

avoiding overdose (or at least avoiding embarassing pictures and random tattoos- Did you know MOM updside down spells WOW?!).

Cravings & Triggers

Situational tolerance also has a lot to do with cravings and how hard it is to change behavior. We teach our body to expect to feel the effects of alcohol in a certain situation. For some, that expectation turns into a need. Situational tolerance occurs for all drugs. Smokers know well which “triggers” make them crave nicotine. Once recognized, triggers can be avoided or altered. There are a ton of creative and useful strategies for dealing with cravings, breaking the cycle of use, and reducing situational tolerance. Our website has a free online self-assessment and our staff loves to chat with students about all things alcohol/drug related. Learn more at

What’s a standard drink?

For all alcohol research both at VCU and nationally, a “standard drink” is defined this way:

12 oz. of beer

5 oz. of wine

The Well’s Health Survey *How many drinks did you have the last time you partied/socialized? of Females had 0–3 drinks and were within the low-risk guidelines.

of Males had 0–4 drinks and were within the low-risk guidelines.

*In the past 30 days, how many days did you use alcohol? Only

1 &2 %


of Females and Males chose to drink alcohol daily.

*The Well’s Health Survey, Spring 2016, n=856 (freshman-senior, n=634)

If holder is damaged or loose, please call The Well at 828-9355.

Research-based low-risk drinking strategies from, a fairly cool, non-judgmental interactive website

Women and Men: Zero drinks if you are driving, have liver disease, take multiple meds, are pregnant, in recovery or are going on a job interview. (We made that last one up, but it makes sense to us.)


One drink if you drink regularly, because at two per day breast cancer risks go up and at three per day blood pressure goes up. Three drinks or fewer if you drink only occasionally. (Sorry, you can’t save all seven for Friday.) Statistically, four or more drinks increases a woman’s risk for injuries, accidents, and illnesses including alcoholism.


Two drinks if you drink regularly, because at three per day blood pressure goes up and at four per day liver disease increases. Four drinks or fewer if you drink only occasionally, because five or more is associated with injuries, accidents, and illnesses including alcoholism.

1.5 oz of liquor

Spit for Science is a project of COBE

How often do you drink? Questions? email

Source: S4S Spring follow-up, Sophomores (2011-13 cohorts); n=3631

If holder is damaged or loose, please The Well at 828-9355. A special edition by VCU Student Affairs.

815 S Cathedral Place, Richmond, VA 23294

The Division of Student Affairs has 14 units that empower you to succeed! What do students think of us? “They are such a reliable resource for VCU students to get involved, engaged, and inspired to reach their goals.” – Isaiah, junior We are a diverse team of professionals dedicated to supporting the whole student in their life outside the classroom. We provide the knowledge, resources, spaces and fun to make your VCU experience safe, healthy, successful and unforgettable.

Dean of Students Office

Disability Support Services

Advocates for students. They help students a path toward success, overcome barriers and ensure the proper support services are being utilized.

Providing equal access. They are the go-to place on campus for support and tips to help students with disabilities succeed inside the .

Sitterding House and Hunton Student Center

Student Commons Room 102

Recreational Sports

Residential Life & Housing

Office of Multicultural Student Affairs

Office of Student Conduct & Academic Integrity

Cultural appreciation, programs and dialogue. They host discussion groups, month-long heritage celebrations and ceremonies.

Civility, respect and academic success for all. They administer the Code of Conduct, the VCU Honor System, and other related policies.

Physical activity. They offer a variety of informal and programmed recreational activities including free group exercise classes, outdoor adventure trips, intramural sports and clubs.

Safe and inclusive places to live. They provide wellmaintained , to build communities focused on empowering residents in their academic excellence, citizenship and personal growth.

Student Commons Room 215

Student Commons Room 229

Cary Street Gym and Larrick Student Center

Cary & Belvidere Residential College, 301 W. Cary St.

Student Media Center

Technology Support Services

University Counseling Services

University Student Health Services

Tech support. Any enrolled student can seek technical support and services, at no , through the ResNet Help Desk on location, or by submitting a ticket at

to your needs. They foster an environment of student growth, development, and psychological wellbeing through evaluations, consultations, crisis services and safe zone trainings.

Keeping you healthy. They aren’t just where you go when you’re sick but a place to go to learn more about your own health and get cheap over the counter .

817 W. Broad St.

809 W. Broad St.

Student Commons, Room 238 1000 E. Marshall St.

1300 W. Broad St. 1000 E. Marshall St.

University Student Commons & Activities

The Wellness Resource Center

VCU Career Services


Getting involved. VCU Welcome Week, Student Leadership and Involvement Center, Fraternity and Sorority Life, MCV Campus Programs, Activities Programming Board, SGA, and student organizations.

Promoting wellness. They go (pun intended) into 1,300 bathrooms with health education and VCU resources and statistics. You can confidential sexual assault advocates here. Spread the word about the new Rams in Recovery Clubhouse on our first floor!

Preparing you for the next Through career fairs, one-on-one advising, and workshops, they will help you connect to internships and jobs related to your career goals. Your job is to visit them.

Developing leaders. Through courses, plunges, projects, speakers, and , this two-year Living-Learning Program, focuses on cultivating innovative leaders who transform lives and impact communities. You should apply, like, now!

Student Commons Room 143

Grace & Broad Residence Center 1

Connect, enrich and explore. They host a variety of student organizations specializing in independent news, TV, , literary publications and print media, open to all majors.

University Student Commons, Hunton Student Center and Larrick Student Center

815 S. Cathedral Pl.


Created and posted by students and staff from the VCU Wellness Resource Center

Your Mental

Health at VCU College and transitions are challenging, but we have great resources to help.

University Counseling Services (UCS) are here for you!

At UCS, we provide consultation and comprehensive evaluation on the best options for your care. This can include: case management, referrals to community providers, brief individual and couples therapy, group therapy, and resiliency workshops.

Connect to UCS

Come to either of our offices (MPC and MCV) and ask for a RAM (Referral and Assessment Meeting) appointment. You will be asked to fill out paperwork. You will most likely meet with a UCS clinician for a same-day consultation designed to assess your mental health needs and provide information and treatment recommendations. The RAM process usually takes between 60-90 minutes, but may be longer depending on your needs. Please plan accordingly. During busy periods, you may have to wait to see an available counselor, but every effort will be made to meet with you in a timely manner.

Online Resources (Self-Help) (Healthy Living) (or call their 24-hour hotline: 1-800-273-TALK)

In crisis or have an urgent mental health concern?

During the week, a UCS crisis counselor is available for walk-ins. After hours, call the VCU police dispatch at 804-828-1234 and ask to have the on-call counselor call you.


Negative Self Labeling

Seeing only your flaws.

ANTs (Automatic Negative

Thoughts) happen to everyone. They are just random

electrochemical impulses, but they can greatly affect our happiness. It’s important to remember they are NOT accurate. Our thoughts have the power to either make us feel good or make us feel bad. Recognizing ANTs when they occur and learning skills to alter them by thinking more accurately can reduce stress and create positive mental energy. So how do you stop them?

Mind Reading

Assuming other people have negative opinions about you with little or no proof.


When something upsetting happens, record your thoughts.

STEP TWO: RECOGNIZE Recognize the species of ANT. Some examples are on the right. And then ask yourself, “Is this thought true? Helpful? Important?”

Labeling Others

Assigning reductionist descriptions to others.


Replace the irrational ANT with more rational thinking. This will take practice! In the long run, learning to deal with ANTs can change your life. How we think about things determines how we feel and act. When we think positively, we feel better!

Have you found your people? It’s natural to feel out of place when you start college. Check out RamsConnect ( There are 500 student organizations on campus- something for everyone!

All or Nothing

Thoughts in absolutes: “They ALWAYS ignore me!” “I’m the only one who doesn’t get drunk!”


Minor negative events feel like the end of the world. Created and posted by students and staff from the VCU Wellness Resource Center ©2016

815 S. Cathedral Place, Richmond, VA 23284

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month!

Visit for a calendar of events.



All Students- incoming, upperclass, and grad- are invited to participate in Welcome Week activities, August 20-28th!

Most RAMS who choose to drink stay safe by sticking with the same group of friends when partying.* m

72% Most RAMS have between 0-4 drinks when they party.*

Respect and Protect Skills for all relationships Creating healthy relationships applies to more than just our intimate relationships. Our family, friends, classmates, coworkers and neighbors can make up our support networks. The skills learned and practiced in these relationships can help us have more fulfilling intimate relationships. Respecting people’s identity and boundaries is key in forming healthy relationships. Protecting others by intervening if someone needs help makes our communities healthy and safe.

VCU Cultural Reality You can only see what you first define. The Well routinely conducts a national health survey with large random samples of VCU students. We asked, “What best describes your sexual orientation?”

Having the courage to “respect and protect” others requires practice and skill. Our campus diversity and these times of cultural change provide plenty of opportunities to practice intervening. We can all educate ourselves on how to call out disrespectful or harmful behavior or speech. Check out The Well’s website and social media for more information. #ramsrespectprotect


Respect and Protect Everyone In Our RAMily By:

Have you been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD or think you might have it? Do you have difficulty with organization, time-management and want to learn strategies to help you succeed in college? You may be eligible for a VCU study that provides a free ADD/ADHD evaluation, group intervention, and mentoring. Participants are financially compensated for their time. Call 804-828-5517 to see if you are eligible.






same gender loving


• Talking with a friend if you are • Asking instead of making concerned about their behavior assumptions about individuals based on appearance • Interrupting racist, sexist, • Supporting civil discussion transphobic or demeaning on difficult topics language

• Confronting religious discrimination like Islamophobia • Respecting gender presentation, culture, sexual history

RamPantry is located in room 121 MPC Student Commons. It exists to address food insecurity by providing VCU students in need with healthy, emergency food & personal hygiene products.


Visit for details.


of RAMS selected either



79% chose straight/heterosexual.

Some people question our stats. As scientists, we appreciate their skepticism. So, we tested these findings. The Well brought hundreds of anonymous clickers to ten large presentations on campus and collected a convenience sample of almost 2,000 students. Our clicker results revealed close to this same breakdown in sexual orientation. Want more info? Visit “campus norms” at *(The Well’s Health Survey, Spring 2016, n=856)


Be part of making campus safer! VCU is conducting the Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Violence and Actively Moving Forward (AMF) Bystander Intervention. Randomly selected students receive an e-mail to their VCU Support for will dealing with grief and loss accounts. Participants have a chance to win free parking or 12:30-1:30pm a $100 Amazon gift card. Tues. Aug. 23, Tea & Treats Contact for more information. For resources, go to



Campus Resources

Help! What can I do?

My friend has been sexually assaulted and I want to be supportive. • • • •

Listen without judgment or question. Believe what they are saying. Let them decide next steps. Allow them time and space to heal at their own pace. • Know your resources on campus. To get support services: The Well has confidential advocates available during business hours for walk-ins and appointments to provide support and information on available resources. University Counseling Services has counselors available to help with a variety of issues.

Do you know Red Flags? The Red Flag Campaign is a national dating violence awareness campaign, started in Richmond. Many of us see “red flags” every day, but we often don’t know how how to address them. RAMS can support each other by being more aware of our surroundings, saying something when we see a red flag, and getting help if a situation is potentially dangerous. When everyone is an active bystander, everyone is safer. Visit for more information.

University Student Health Services can provide emergency contraception, exams, and other services.

Want access to a confidential Need after hours assistance? advocate from The Well? Greater Richmond Regional Email Hotline 24/7 (804) 612-6126 24/7 The Virginia LGBTQ Partner VCU Police or an on-call Abuse & Sexual Assault Hotline counselor from University Chat: Counseling Services Call: (866) 356-6998 (804) 828-1234. Text: (804) 793-9999

To make a report, which may lead to an investigation:

Get Involved!

Equity and Access Services Title IX responds to any complaints or reports of prohibited conduct under VCU’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Interested in helping end the violence? Become a SAVES Peer Educator volunteer. (SAVES = Students Advocating Violence Education and Support) Visit for more info and to complete an application.

VCU PD is trained in responding to sexual violence and has staff who can assist individuals who have been assaulted.

What would you do? If you heard someone screaming at another person who was crying in the next room?

If you heard a racist or homophobic slur used against another person?

If you saw someone taking your friend into a private room at a party when you know they are too drunk to give consent?

If your roommate became so depressed they stop going to class?

VCU Students Overcome the Bystander Effect "Let's look out for each other. Others would do it for you."

Victor, Junior "Ask yourself- would you want someone to get involved if it were me?"

Emily, Senior

Do you know your Title IX?

By now, you should have completed your required "Not Anymore" training and learned all about Title IX. Here is a recap. Title IX applies to students of any gender, including female, male, gender non-conforming, and/or transgender students. VCU is dedicated to creating a community that encourages the reporting of all incidents of sexual misconduct and the prompt and fair resolution of sexual misconduct complaints. Learn more about Title IX by visiting

VCU takes sexual assault, abuse in relationships and stalking seriously. It happens in every community.



When students come to campus, they often have misperceptions about college life, especially when it comes to alcohol and sex.

of Rams had 0-1 sexual partners in the last 12 months.*

Skeptical about these stats? Check out this student-on-the-street video with The Well’s interview team, Malcolm and Alex. They talked to students before and after a live clicker survey session called Love ‘n’ Liquor. Go to

of Rams have between 0-4 drinks when they party.*

*The Well’s Health Survey, Spring 2016, n=856

ho K n ow

w much is in your cup !

A standard

drink is...

12oz Beer

4-5 oz Wine 1-1.5 oz Liquor

DON’T FORGET! Check your e-mail starting 11/1 to see if you were randomly selected for the Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Violence and Bystander Intervention. Your participation is anonymous, and you’ll be entered to win free parking or a $100 Amazon gift card. Email Dr. Abigail Conley (ahconley@ for more info.


Sexually active or thinking about it? Drop by The Well for a free condom. Buy 6 for $2 at Student Health Services.

NIGHT AT THE IMPROV You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll learn stuff! Join other students for an interactive theatrical event put on by VCU’s Center for Cultural Experiences in Prevention (CCEP), as part of a series called “HIV: The Black Perspective.” Nov. 14, 7-9pm, MCALC Rm 1107 For more info about culturally congruent programs on sexuality and relationships, visit, email, or call (804) 828-6261.

FREE HIV TESTING ON WORLD AIDS DAY Health Brigade (formerly Fan Free) will provide testing and individual education. Thu, 12/1, 11am to 3pm University Student Commons, VA Rooms

HIV TESTING Q&A Q: What types of HIV tests are available on campus? A: Tests vary in length of time between HIV exposure and detection. 3rd generation tests detect HIV 3 months after exposure, and 4th generation tests work after 1 month. The more sensitive the test, the more it costs. If you want a routine annual screening, the free 3rd gen test provided Dec 1 is the way to go. If you are concerned about recent exposure, Student Health uses a 4th generation test (with a syphilis test) for $15. Stall hop to catch another edition!

a e t a e r C

a C m y p d u a s e ! R s ’ y eL t v er o c e R



A place to go

Professional and community support for those seeking recovery.

Help everywhere

No Judgment Students and staff are comfortable asking for help, instead of feeling alone and stigmatized.

When someone asks for help, peers, supervisors, and teachers know where to guide them.

Recovery Clubhouse Drop-in space at The Well

Intervene kindly If you have a friend who is struggling, you can speak up about what you are seeing. Offer help and support without judgment.


Telling som doesn’t what to do one talking a Get your loved drugs fill in th bout the needs “What are th eir life. Try asking, using? What e good things about things?” Listeare the not-so-good This gives thn without judging. think and talkem a chance to about w important to them, encouhraat’s change from g the inside. ing

Respect recovery If someone says they are in recovery or trying to change their use, encourage them and celebrate their success. You can help by planning events that don’t involve alcohol.


Mon-Thu 8am-10pm

The Rams in Recovery Coffee Bike fights stigma through conversations about recovery.

Fri 10:30am-4:30

VCU Counseling Connecting to UCS is easy. Come to either office and ask for a RAM appointment. University Student Commons, Rm. 238 MCV Campus, VMI Building, Rm. 412 Mon-Fri 8am-4:30pm

Learn more Recovery Clubhouse Mon 12pm Meditation Mon 7pm AA Meeting Wed 12pm AA Meeting Wed 5:30pm Refuge Recovery Thu 5:30pm Yoga for Recovery Thu 8pm NA Meeting Fri 2pm Rams in Recovery Pizza Hibbs Hall Sun 8pm NA Meeting rm. 303 Fri 8:30pm AA Meeting rm. 403 819 South Cathedral Pl. Mon 7:15pm SMART Recovery

Get educated about addiction and recovery resources to become a more empathetic friend. Visit,, and \

family education program Addiction and recovery education every Thursday 6:30-8pm 563 Southlake Blvd.

The JHW Foundation challenge will match your donations to Rams in Recovery!


Stall hop to catch another edition!


If holder is damaged or loose, please call The Well at 828-9355.

The Sober Reality


hile a cold shower, a cup of coffee, or a heavy meal may make a heavily intoxicated (or hungover) person feel more alert, it has no impact on blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Speaking of hangovers, many people are unaware that when they wake up with a hangover, it’s very likely they are not yet sober. Let’s say a person feels social, energized, and euphoric at a BAC of .06. If they drink well beyond that level of intoxication, when their BAC lowers back to that .06 range, they don’t feel those same pleasant effects. This is especially important for people who drive, given the low BAC threshold for drivers under the age of 21 (.02). No one wants a DUI on the way to Sunday brunch! *Grab a safety wallet from The Well to estimate your BAC on the go!

Want to know more?

Pathways to Choices is an online alcohol and drug education class available to all students. Register at A shorter online Alcohol & Drug Self-Assessment is also available at This anonymous assessment, available at no charge, will give you your peak and typical BAC, as well as how your drinking compares with other VCU students. Don’t forget to stop by The Well for a safety wallet so you can estimate your own BAC.




3 am

Stop drinking. Go to bed.


4 am

Awake, woozy, unsettled.


5 am

Finally asleep, tossing and turning.


6 am

Wake up with a headache – still impaired.


7 am

Drive to class – risk of DUI.


8 am

First class – trouble concentrating.


have told us they have a variety of

9 am

Breakfast @ Shafer – not hungry, cottonmouth.


minimizing the not-so-fun.

10 am

Next class – trouble focusing.


11 am

Drive home. If under 21, still at risk for DUI.



Head clearing.


1 pm

Sober, but exhausted.


Strategies for a better buzz

Students who use alcohol

strategies for maximizing fun and

Student strategies include: • pacing drinks • drinking non-alcoholic beverages out of red cups 1. Go to bed with a “buzz” (BAC • spacing drinks with water or non-alcoholic beverages between .05 and .07) and • keeping track of the number seven or eight hours later, of drinks you will probably be alert. • eating before/during drinking 2. Go to bed with a BAC of .150 and you will not actually • avoiding drinking games and other competitive drinking sober up until 10 hours later.

Check out these scenarios:

Data Source: Spit for Science Fall Freshmen (2011–2013 cohorts) n~5,400. Questions? email I sometimes limit my drinking or don’t drink at all because... 52.7% — It’s not healthy to drink too much. 38.1% — I don’t want to disappoint my parents.

“Buzz” Stimulant Euphoria

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

“Drunk” Depressant Euphoria

22.4% — I was brought up not to drink. 10.8% — I’m concerned about how much I’ve been drinking.


Numbers represent % who said the reason was “very important.)

*Spit for Science is a project of COBE

You’ve hit the top of the biphasic curve- if you stop drinking now, you will remain in a place where you might experience some of the effects of drinking people like. From here, if you choose to drink more, you will likely begin to feel less pleasant and risk more unpleasant results.

.01 .03 .05 .06 .07 .08 .09 .10 .15 .20 .30 .40

13% — It makes me feel bad emotionally.


When they party, most RAMS who choose to drink keep their BAC below .08*. If you get to that point in the night where a little voice in your head tells you that one more drink isn’t going to make you feel better, just drunker, it might be your cue to switch to water and grab your friends to put your get-home-safely-plan into action.


23.5% — I’m afraid I might become an alcoholic.

checked all 30 that applied. 0 (Respondents 10 20 40

Surf the wave

lower risk drinking

Biphasic Curve *The Well’s Health Survey, Spring 2016, n=856


#mind ul inals Take a Brain Break!

Mindfulness is noticing the present moment in a non-judgmental way.

Our minds are like web browsers with too many tabs open. We can spin off to a future that doesn’t exist, or fall back into the past. Mindfulness helps us step back without checking out. It puts us in the best frame of mind to deal with tough situations. Learning to be mindful can make you happier, healthier, and more productive.


SNAP A PHOTO of yourself in your happy place or being mindful during finals.

brought to you by The Well & VCU Public Affairs

You can practice mindfulness anytime! Here's how:


STOP. Pause what you are doing and give yourself a moment to pay attention to the world. What's happening around you? What's happening inside you? Try not to judge your feelings or thoughts. Just notice and let them go.


BREATHE. Focus on each breath. The breath always brings you to the present moment. Observe it coming in and going out. Feel the air moving from your nose into your belly. Repeat as many times as you need.


BE. Right here, right now. This moment is the only place you can be and the only place you need to be. Your past has already happened and your future is unwritten, so give yourself permission to let go of worries. You are okay as you are.

We posted our #mindfulfinals pics to help other Rams find their chill!


POST IT to Instagram or Twitter tagged #mindfulfinals (or email it to


GET YOUR PRIZE at the SGA Extra Exam Study Space in VA Rms A&B of University Student Commons! Dec 12-14, 10am-4pm.

Woo hoo!

Mindful Moments 15-minute guided meditations. Rhoads community room. Open to everyone! Dec 5-8 • 5pm Dec 12-15 • 12pm & 5pm

Ram drawings: Malik Radford Flower pattern: Dawn Carr

Artfulness Initiative With stressors like finals, travel, and holidays, we hope you will gift yourself a moment of respite with artfulness this winter. VCU has created free online sessions that pair mindfulness teachings with art activities and they are open to everyone. Visit

Quitting Mindfully Want to be free of tobacco cravings? The Craving To Quit app teaches mindfulness to help you succeed. It has rave reviews from consumers and scientists. Can’t afford the fee of $1/day for 21 days? Drop by Student Health to discuss medication support and behavioral strategies, or email for more info.

"The time to relax is when you don't have any time for it." Sydney Haaris


If holder is damaged or loose, please call The Well at 828-9355.

Good Times at VCU! What are Rams doing for fun? Drinking? Not most days of the month. Rams find fun in lots of different ways!

Year after year, data show that most Rams only drink on


days per month.*

So how do Rams party if they aren’t drinking? Here’s what students say: Bike rides to Hollywood Cemetery

Chowing down at awesome RVA eateries

A pee-your-pants-laughing game of Cards Against Humanity Walking on (or falling off) the slackline Salsa dancing. “Can’t dance skillfully if you’re drunk!”

*The Well’s Health Survey, Spring 2008-2016

Movie nights. “Nothing beats comfy sweatpants and pizza with friends.”

Safer Drinking When Rams party, some don’t use alcohol at all. Others have one or more ways to protect their friends and themselves when drinking. Here are a few:

VCU No Shame Variety Show First Fridays Art Walk

• Keeping track of drinks • Staying with the same friends • Alternating drinks with water • Eating a full meal beforehand • Using ridesharing apps or a DD • Knowing what’s in your cup

Disability Support Services (DSS) invites students to an open house on Thu 1/19! Come to University Student Commons Suite 102 to learn about new supports and initiatives.





Want to help your fellow students learn more about eating and nutrition at VCU? Become a MyPlate Campus Ambassador through The Well. Email and visit for more information. g st elin e F

ressed or overwhelm ed ?

Want to chat? Text site and app 7 Cups of Tea connects you to volunteer listeners. Anonymous and free.

Need insurance? Having trouble navigating For help, call Enroll Virginia at 1-888-392-5132, email, or visit Don’t forget that January 31st is the last day to enroll for a 2017 health plan! Code: vcu_portal

Follow thewellvcu on: • 815 Cathedral Pl. Richmond, VA 23284


If holder is damaged or loose, please call The Well at 828-9355.


Roses are red, Violets are purple, Nothing rhymes with purple, Condoms prevent sexually transmitted infections.

We learned last month that Rams love to party in different ways. Well, guess what? Rams are anything but boring in the way we celebrate love (or L.O.V.E). Happy Valentine’s Day!


Spread L.O.V.E.

# of sex partners most Rams had in the last year.*

(Lots Of Varied Experiences) The biggest sex organ... your brain! And it plays a huge role in sexual activity of any kind. It's vital to interpreting sexual cues— determining what turns us on or off. A brain under the influence might have a harder time interpreting cues or transmitting signals to other sex organs. If you're concerned that alcohol or other drugs are your go-to sexual lubricant, feel free to contact The Well. It might be time to retrain your brain by exploring all the other wonderful ways to be sexy!

Sexually active? This Valentine’s Day, treat yo self and your partner(s) to peace of mind. Chlamydia, an often asymptomatic (and treatable) sexually transmitted infection, is at an all time high in America. You can make an appointment to get screened at University Student Health Services for $15. For info on free testing sites in Richmond, visit The Well's website, click Healthy Living, then Sex.

What turns you on? Fantasizing! Hitting the gym! Reading & writing erotic stories! Nothing! Totally fine! Remember most Rams had between 0-1 sexual partners in the last year and 4.5% of Rams reported themselves as asexual*. To learn more about what it means to be asexual, visit

Follow Up with Spit for Science (, a study of how genetic and environmental factors contribute to substance use and emotional health. Past participants: Earn another $10 by completing a follow-up survey! Payment/new t-shirt pickup at Franklin Street Gym, B43, M-F, Feb. 20- March 3, noon-4p.m.

Condoms, Lube, Dams! Want safer sex on a budget? University Student Health Services sells 6 condoms for $2 (including Magnums). The Well has 2 free condoms per person in lobby (while supplies last)—ask about lube, dental dams, and non-latex barrier options!

Follow thewellvcu on: • 815 Cathedral Pl. Richmond, VA 23284

*The Well’s Health Survey, Spring 2016, n=856

Make Bars Safer Young adults often work in restaurants. Help us create safer spaces by registering for The Well’s interactive training for RVA restaurant employees! Participants learn how to recognize and intervene in potentially unsafe situations, and how to assist individuals who have been assaulted or harassed. Register for the next training happening on Monday, February 27 from noon-3p.m. by emailing

Did you know? Research has shown that a majority of violence and aggression is committed by individuals who are intoxicated.† We want to start a university-wide conversation on the overlap between alcohol and violence, and how to protect our community at VCU. † publications/aa38.htm



If holder is damaged or loose, please call The Well at 828-9355.

7% 6% “Community

If someone asked you to use one word to describe VCU, what would you choose? In The Well’s December 2016 survey (random sample, n=610), here’s what students picked:





“Diversity” chose



“Friendly” Engagement” chose


Out of nine choices, "party school" came in last, with only 0.3% choosing this option. “In high school, I didn’t really feel free to be myself. At VCU, people just accept you for who you are.” —Malcolm, Sophomore

“We have every type of person here—neuroscientists to street artists.” —Leighanne, Freshman “Most places I go at VCU, students ask each other for name, major, and pronoun during introductions.” —Dawn, Senior “When I walk around campus, I see all types of people being friendly.” —Alex, Sophomore

Comic by Malik Radford

Most Rams “Herd Up”! They either join student orgs, work, volunteer, or participate in intramurals.†

“I created a student org with over 30 members from a variety of different backgrounds and perspectives with the goal of doing community service.” —Victor, Junior

The Well’s Health Survey, Spring 2016 n=856

Make your voice heard... ...and you could win a prize! First-year students and seniors received an email to complete the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). Your feedback could have a direct impact on your time at VCU and help increase the value of your degree. Visit for FAQs and prize info!


Richmond’s 1st National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) walk to raise awareness for eating disorders is happening at VCU! Everyone is welcome, March 25 at 10a.m. on the University Student Commons Plaza for recovery centered support, arts and crafts, and music. Pre-register to participate in the walk portion online at

Rams not only value inclusiveness and diversity; they also approve of stepping up to help another Ram stay safe!


of students surveyed approve of cutting off a friend before they have too much to drink.* *The Well’s celebration survey, December 2016, random sample, n=610 undergraduate students

You can still Spit for Science! Spit for Science is a study of how genetic and environmental factors contribute to substance use and emotional health. Do your online survey, then pick up payments and newly designed t-shirts at: The Franklin Street Gym, B43 Mon.-Fri. between 12:30-3:30p.m. If you haven’t participated in the DNA component before but would like to, you will have the opportunity when you pick up your survey payment—and you will receive an additional $10. Learn more:

Follow thewellvcu on: • 815 Cathedral Pl. Richmond, VA 23284

CORNER Undergrad researcher Justin Tubbs found that VCU students with high day-to-day levels of mindfulness have reduced levels of anxiety compared to those who are less mindful. Want to learn mindfulness? The Well has open sessions every Thursday at 3p.m. COBE grew out of Spit for Science, and makes VCU’s research accessible to YOU! VCU COBE

#RelationshipGoals Mutual respect and communication are a recipe for a sizzling hot relationship!

Everyone brings desires and needs into a relationship — whether it’s a brief encounter or longer-term situation. Ideally, each person’s input is weighed equally when decisions are made about what happens in the relationship, especially when it comes to sexual activity. A healthy relationship is free from sexual coercion, which is inappropriate, unreasonable, or continued pressure for sexual activity.

Rams support each other! 80% of VCU students feel like they can get what they need from our campus community.* *Source: VCU Sexual Assault Campus Climate Survey, Fall 2016, n=1160

Unsure if your relationship is healthy? You can set up an appointment with a confidential advocate. Email or call The Well.

Fresh Check Day - 4/27

Join Active Minds to “check in” on your mental health. There will be food and prizes! Commons Plaza, 10a.m.-2p.m.

Make sure your partner knows it’s totally OK to say “no.”

Want to take the pressure off? Ask your partner(s) what they’d enjoy!

If your partner is not “in the mood,” suggest something else to do.

“Would you like dessert before dinner? If not, that’s cool.”

“I’m into you, and I’m wondering what you’d like to do tonight.”

“Netflix and actual chill was a great idea!”

The Well proudly (re)introduces Kaylin Tingle, who began a new role as LGBTQIA+ Violence Prevention Specialist and Advocate in December. Kaylin serves students, focusing on LGBTQIA+ communities, in addressing issues of sexual and intimate partner violence, stalking, and hate- and bias-motivated violence.

Check out the new LGBTQIA+ resources from VCU’s Division for Inclusive Excellence! Website: Gender Inclusive Restroom Map:


AWARENESS MONTH Take Back The Night - 4/ 24

COBE & DBHDS present

from RESEARCH to

Survivor speak-out & rally from 7-9p.m. in University Student Commons, Richmond Salons.


Denim Day - 4/26

April 18 - 19

On Apr. 26, wear jeans in solidarity with survivors. (On Apr. 24-25, stop by the Compass to decorate jeans with messages to survivors.)

Survivor Solidarity Hour

The Well has informal gatherings for survivors of violence every Tue. at 12:30 this semester. For info:

Talks on substance use and mental health in young people. Student admission FREE! for more info.

The Stall Seat Journal: 2016-2017 school year  

The Stall Seat Journal provides the inside scoop on health and wellness to VCU students. VCU Wellness Resource Center produces The Stall Sea...

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