This month the Student Health Center will invite students to participate in the largest health survey ever conducted at SF State.
Emails directing students to the American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment II will hit inboxes Feb. 9 through 20. The ACHA designed the survey to document health trends on college campuses and clarify students’ priorities regarding health.
Lead Health Educator Aimee Williams is in charge of organizing the survey and said SF State currently lacks information on the health of students on campus.
“SF State has not previously participated in a comprehensive health survey,” Williams said in an email. “There have been some surveys given looking at alcohol and drug use, but nothing giving us a complete picture about the needs of our students.”
The survey covers ten topics including demographics, sexual health, drugs, nutrition and campus climate questions for Title IX, according to Williams. Student Affairs and Student Health Services created an additional six questions to customize the survey for SF State.
SF State Health Educator Christine Morley said the survey has many prospective benefits.
“The data will help better serve students who use the services here,” Morley said. “It will allow us to tailor services to the needs of students on campus.”
According to the NCHA-ACHA website, survey data can be used to properly allocate staffing and resources. Results can be utilized as research material in classrooms or for policy discussions and can be used to develop new programs or evaluate existing ones.
More than 550 campuses and 825,000 students across the country have participated in the survey, according to the NCHA-ACHA website. Survey participation has tripled since the development of the first NCHA in 2000, with colleges administering the test more than once.
Students’ responses to the survey will not be linked to their names or email addresses. Responses are anonymized upon submission, according to the NCHA-ACHA website.
Students who complete the survey will be entered in a chance to win one of five Trader Joe’s gift cards valued at $20 to encourage participation, Morley said.
SF State senior Simi Johl said she looks forward to the possible changes from the survey’s results.
“Now they charge for STD tests,” Johl said. “I wish they were still free so more people would take them.”
Johl said she plans to take the survey, but questions if other students will.
“People are busy,” Johl said. “They get 1,000 emails a day and it’s hard sitting down to take a survey.”
Junior Casey Lyons said she thinks the survey will be helpful for students.
“(The survey) is important to get a general sense of the needs of students here and it may help them feel more comfortable at the Health Center,” Lyons said. “Not a lot of students have health insurance so it’s a great resource for them.”
While faculty at the Health Center are hopeful that students will complete the survey, participation is voluntary.
“Student participating in the survey will be making a difference and shaping the future of SF State,” Williams said.
Sample surveys and past national results can be found online at NCHA-ACHA.org.