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Survey addresses health issues

Jan. 21, 2004

By Kirsten Pasha, reporter

A female health and wellness survey available on the Baylor Information Network until Feb. 5 aims to determine students' concerns and misconceptions about Baylor health services.

Designed by student government members, the 17-question survey addresses such issues as eating disorders, anxiety, depression, pregnancy and sexual assault, according to Student Body External Vice President Casey Watts, an Anson junior.

'I felt we were lacking as a university in distributing accurate resources to women on campus concerning these health issues,' Watts said. 'Each of the three of us who made the survey saw needs in people around us, and we want to address those.'

According to one of the survey writers, Julia Dimmick, a Tulsa, Okla., junior, at least 20 percent of Baylor women students must fill out the online survey in order for the results to be accurate.

Although survey participants are anonymous, BIN users must log in. A drawing Feb. 9 will select two of the users for free pedicures.

With the online convenience and pedicure incentive, Watts expects sufficient participation.

Dr. Eileen Hulme, vice president for student life, will send an e-mail to all women students, and fliers and announcements at sorority and other organization meetings will help raise awareness of the survey among Baylor women.

'It's crucial students take the survey so we can have results that actually make an impact,' one of the survey writers, Jaclyn Lewis, a Grapevine junior, said. 'We will address things not normally addressed, raise awareness and open doors for change.'

Women's health promotion already exists on campus, but, according to Watts, the survey approaches issues by first listening and then acting.

Specific plans for action depend on what the surveys reveal from the students answers.

According to Watts, survey questions address commonly-held beliefs concerning Baylor's policy for pregnant students and the confidentiality and availability of the counseling services.

'Being a community leader in South Russell, I've seen a lot of issues first hand that are swept under the rug that [women] don't admit to because they're ashamed,' Dimmick said.

'Once we get the results, we can start helping them by improving services and showing them they can be honest and comfortable and be themselves.'