The Well begins data collection for campus survey

Infographic by Ying Cheng

Mason Brown
Staff Writer

Infographic by Ying Cheng

The Wellness Resource Center at VCU has something to tell students: Odds are you’re not that different from everyone else, at least when it comes to health concerns.

The Well will begin collecting data of 5,000 randomly selected students by email on Feb. 15. Students will be asked a variety of questions regarding their health and habits while at VCU.

The survey is used to compare VCU student health to the national levels as well as direct the focus of The Well and compare results over time.

“The survey allows the Wellness Resource Center and Student Health Services tailor services to meet the needs of VCU students,” said Katie Vatalaro, assistant director of The Well. “We also use the data from this large randomized survey to create the statistics for our social norms marketing campaign, ‘VCU Students Are Healthier Than You Think.’”

According to Vatalaro, the survey is confidential and asks questions that pertain to health topics involving substance use, stress, sleep behaviors, physical activity, sleep activity, nutrition, sexual health, mental health issues and more.

Questions included in the survey range from the broad “How safe do you feel?” to the more specific “The last time you partied/socialized, how many drinks of alcohol did you have?”

The survey being issued by The Well is not a VCU-specific survey, however it does have some VCU specific elements.

The survey is based on the standardized American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment II (ACHA-NCHA II).

“They do allow you to ask some VCU-specific questions at the end,” Vatalaro said. “This year we are hoping to find out more about use of energy drinks, celebratory drinking around VCU homecoming and whether students are reading the Stall Seat Journal and attending our clicker presentations.”

“We hope that by educating students about the healthy habits of most students, we will create a campus culture of health,” Vatalaro said.

Participants in the survey will have a chance win an iPad2 as well VCU T-shirts.

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