Today the University of California, Davis, released the recommendations of three task forces that addressed basic student needs including affordable student housing, food security and mental health care.
“It’s imperative that students can meet their basic needs of food, shelter and security so that they can succeed in their studies and in their overall well-being,” said UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May. “The students, faculty and staff who worked on these task forces have developed thoughtful recommendations to help provide resources to our students effectively and efficiently. We are pleased to support those recommendations through a variety of efforts.”
UC Davis is already addressing some of the recommendations and has developed a timeline to address the others. For instance, Student Housing and Dining Services currently has several student housing projects in process including the West Village expansion and Orchard Park Apartments development. And Student Affairs has committed to ensuring that Aggie Compass, which helps students to meet immediate and long-term needs in regards to food security, has stable funding on an annual basis.
A summary of the recommendations from each task force is below. Each task force had detailed recommendations that the university has responded to. The executive summary, recommendations and responses for each task force are posted online:
STUDENT FOOD SECURITY TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS
- Ensure fiscal sustainability of campus food and basic needs programs.
- Create campus services and programs that promote food security.
- Raise awareness of campus options, services and benefits.
- Promote food and health literacy.
- Create long-term strategies to advocate for university/state/federal policies and programs that address affordable housing and food security as a whole.
- Prioritize and implement recommendations though a standing committee.
AFFORDABLE STUDENT HOUSING TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS
- Charge and empower a leadership team to implement recommendations.
- Invite the city of Davis and nearby municipalities to participate in an ongoing forum to address affordable housing, sustainable transportation and related issues.
- Identify funds to support student housing.
- Monitor affordable housing trends through annual surveys and data.
MENTAL HEALTH CARE TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS
- Improve access to mental health services.
- Form a suicide prevention and “postvention” protocol.
- Create pathways for getting feedback from students, including a student advisory board and regular outreach to students.
- Create a culture of student mental health beyond the clinical setting that includes all members of the campus community who regularly interact with and support students.
- Empower and include student groups and community organizers in mental health-related conversations and discussions.
Chancellor May convened the task forces in February to address these important issues. Each task force submitted its recommendations on June 30.
“The task forces reviewed existing programs and options, considered improvements and made recommendations on how we can move forward productively to better serve our students,” May said. “I want to thank each member of the task forces for their commitment to identifying potential solutions that can be implemented in a reasonable period of time.”
The task force leaders:
- Student Food Security — Francene Steinburg, professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition
- Affordable Student Housing — David Campbell, Cooperative Extension specialist, Department of Human Ecology; director of the California Communities Program; and associate dean in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
- Mental Health Care — Cameron Carter, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences