The expression “one Tribe, one family” has gained popularity over the last several years at the College of William and Mary. This feeling of community has extended to concern for the health and well-being for all members of the student body. Both the College administration and student organizations place a huge emphasis on promoting healthy relationships and work to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses in health and wellness programming.
The campus organization previously known as One in Four changed its name to Someone You Know and split from its larger national organization to become more effective for this campus. The decision to change the organization’s name shows critical self-evaluation with the goal of providing better service to the campus. We support Someone You Know for taking a step back to evaluate how the group was being perceived on campus and deciding to change.
This self-evaluation reflects our campus’ commitment to our fellow students through efficient service. The Red Flag Campaign is a prime example of how to disseminate information to campus effectively. The campaign managed to bring awareness to abuse through extremely thought-provoking posters. Furthermore, Health Outreach Peer Educators has worked to educate the campus community about sexual health and healthy relationships for many years. During that time, it has proved it is dedicated to making its organization approachable for students.
When considering what constitutes a healthy relationship, we are reminded by these organizations that dating violence is intimate partner violence and not limited to any one sexual orientation. Our campus does not just prioritize education for healthy heterosexual relationships; rather, student organizations and the campus administration both have shown commitments to providing resources for same-sex couples at the College. For example, workers at the Student Health Center underwent LGBT Cultural Competency in Medical Settings training to ensure they could serve the needs of all members of the student body.
The College has committed its resources to providing the highest quality healthcare to students. If students need to discuss relationship problems with a trained professional, they have access to the Counseling Centers’ services or to outside services with initiatives from the Student Assembly such as Tribe Rides. Providing funding for STI testing has become a major priority of the SA in past years, and we hope this tradition will resume next year. These resources show that the campus’ dedication to student health is more than just talk; they show that the College is making an investment in its students’ well-being.
Sexual health and healthy relationships are not issues that concern select students at the College. These issues must be addressed from all angles of the student body and by the administration. All organizations must self-evaluate to ensure the organization is promoting the health of the student body successfully. This evaluation might mean changing the name of an organization or considering the best ways to allocate funding, but this type of reflection will make our commitment to the health of our classmates even stronger.