Student Well-being

As part of the Division of Student Affairs 2025 strategic plan, University Housing is working to bring together expertise across the division to increase student engagement in well-being and success through integrated well-being resources and support for students.

The University Health Center provides integrated medical, wellness and counseling services. We encourage residents to take advantage of the services and support UHC provides through the student health fee.

What We DoWhat Students Can DoCOVID-19 Resources

What We Do

Health and safety inspections

Proactive health and safety inspections are completed at least once each semester to ensure your living environment remains a comfortable, safe and clean place to live. During a health and safety inspection, a resident assistant, skilled trades worker, building services worker, residence hall director and/or an assistant director will enter each room/unit to look for any potential or emerging facilities-related concerns. This inspection also involves checking sprinklers, smoke detectors and other life-safety equipment as well as the presence and condition of housing furniture.

Residents will receive advance notice of scheduled health and safety and do not need to be present in the space at that time. 

Capital projects

Since 2017, we have spent more than $100 million on renovations of major building systems including plumbing, electrical, mechanical and heating and air systems to improve the student experience. Many of these renovations also included enhanced programming and study spaces within the residence halls. We have also committed another $20 million to update our popular first-year, low-rise buildings (Boggs, Church, Hill, Lipscomb and Mell Halls) by 2025. 

In addition to major renovations, we allocate approximately $10 million annually to conduct various improvements to life safety, security and other mission-critical components beyond just normal maintenance projects. Examples include fire alarm upgrades, building roof replacements, student furniture renewals and carpet and other flooring replacements. We also have a preventative maintenance plan in place to ensure various building systems are always running optimally.

Preventative maintenance

Because the health and well-being of residents is a top priority for University Housing, we center our work on creating a healthy living-learning environment in our residence halls.

Steps we take to mitigate facilities issues and promote a healthy physical environment include changing filters on a schedule, replacing furniture and mattresses on a cycle, deep cleaning over break periods and summer, and regular assessments of plumbing, electrical, HVAC and emergency systems.

In addition, residents are encouraged to report any concerns through our work request system. We always respond when we receive reports of potential air quality concerns. Our staff will visually assess the area, as well as measure the temperature, humidity and dewpoint with a digital thermohygrometer. Based on the results, staff may test or replace the climate control unit, provide a dehumidifier or recommend actions for residents, such as raising or lowering the room temperature or simply removing catalysts for poor air quality (e. g., clothes drying racks, wet towels, soft surfaces).

Mental well-being

Along with our proactive facilities maintenance plan, the Dawg Path is a key component in our overall effort to support student well-being in our residence halls. The Dawg Path aims to equip students with essential skills focused on community building, interpersonal relationships, social awareness and responsibility, and wellness as part of a larger student success plan led by the Division of Student Affairs.

Air quality testing

In 2018, University Housing began an annual air quality testing program in the residence halls. These regular tests conducted by an outside vendor are intended to alert us of any potential air quality issues, so we can address them proactively.

Our geographic location and outdoor environment can cause issues for those sensitive to pollen and other allergens and possibly those who have never suffered from allergies in the past. If you experience sensitivity, please seek the assistance of the University Health Center and/or your health care provider.


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What Students Can Do

As part of a community, the responsibility is on all students to help maintain a healthy environment in the residence halls, apartments and townhomes.

Allergens

To limit the accumulation of allergens in your space, the Mayo clinic suggests:

  • Encase pillows, mattresses and box springs in dust-mite-proof covers. Wash sheets, pillowcases and blankets at least once a week in water heated to at least 130 F (54 C). Remove, wash or cover comforters. Replace wool or feather bedding with synthetic materials
  • Avoid tossing your backpack or the clothes worn outside on your bed to prevent spreading allergens to your sleeping area
  • Consider showering and washing your hair before going to bed to avoid introducing allergens to your bed linens
  • Use washable area rugs with low-pile instead of high-pile carpeting and vacuum weekly with a vacuum cleaner that has a small-particle or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
  • Use washable curtains made of plain cotton or synthetic fabric
  • Close windows and rely on air conditioning during pollen season. Clean condensation from window frames and sills
  • Only bring in easy-to-clean chairs furniture made of leather, wood, metal or plastic. Avoid upholstered furniture and added cushions or pillows
  • Remove items that collect dust, such as knickknacks, tabletop ornaments, books and magazines where possible
  • Damp-mop or vacuum flooring
  • Use a damp cloth to clean other surfaces, including the tops of doors, windowsills and window frames. If you have allergies, either wear a dust mask or get someone who doesn’t have allergies to do this job

University Health Center ALLERGY CLINIC

TOBACCO AND SMOKE-FREE CAMPUS POLICY

Air quality

Molds are a fact of life and present no real threat to most healthy individuals.

To help ensure optimum air quality:

  • Avoid hanging damp or wet items to dry in the room or closet
  • Ensure that furniture or other items do not block the vents in the room
  • Do not use essential oil diffusers—they are not allowed in University Housing. Essential oils are known to contribute to skin irritation, allergic reactions, respiratory symptoms and even hormone-related symptoms in some individuals. In addition, when not properly cleaned, mold can form and collect within these diffusers – further spreading spores into the living environment upon use, as seen within University Housing. Therefore, if an essential oil diffuser is seen or used in University Housing, residents will be asked to unplug, pack and/or remove the device from the premises
  • Report any concerns by submitting a work request

For a comprehensive guide to housing policies for resident rooms, please see the online Community Guide or reach out to your community office or residence hall director with any questions.


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