Health & Wellness
Supporting the Creation of a Northwest Campus Gym
According to the American College Health Association’s 2017 UT Austin College Health Assessment, only 53.3 percent of UT students described their health as “very good” or “excellent.” Conversations with administrators have already begun to address this issue by increasing access to gym spaces for students. The northwest area of campus currently has no fully equipped gyms open to all students, making it a prime location for a new workout facility. Many students living in North and West Campus face a 20 minute or longevity r walk to the nearest gym. Given the tight schedules of most Longhorns, this discourages an active lifestyle. We will continue to work with administration to ensure this project becomes a reality.
Improving Mental Health Policies
Current mental health accommodations at UT require verification through Student Services for Disabilities which requires medical documentation. However, mental health is something we all experience, regardless of whether or not we have an official diagnosis. For every Longhorn who has been diagnosed with anxiety, there are 4.5 others who are not diagnosed, yet have experienced “overwhelming anxiety” in the past year. But for students with an undiagnosed mental illness or dealing with other mental health issues, there is no existing standard for professor accommodation. We want to work with professors to create a mental health policy on every syllabus, allowing faculty to support psychological well-being in their own ways. There will also be a verification system in place to minimize abuse of these accommodations, potentially using online resources, but without alienating students who would be too anxious to call. Students should be able to prioritize self-care and personal mental health without negative repercussions.
Advocating for Healthier Food Options on Campus
Approximately 60 percent of students only eat 1-2 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. This finding reflects a broader trend of inaccessibility to healthy food on campus, where limited options, stress, and time constraints combine to form barriers to healthy eating for many students. We will work to offer a variety of food options on campus which will include options for a healthy lifestyle, as well as for students who struggle to find food that complies with religious dietary restrictions such as Halal or Kosher. This will involve negotiating with third party vendors and University Housing and Dining (formerly DHFS) in order to ensure compliance with university policies while catering to students’ needs.