Photo by Tiara Winata

Tech recently took the Healthy Campus 2020 pledge to become a Healthy Campus Partner, showing its commitment to improving health on campus.

Created in 2012 by the American College Health Association (ACHA), Healthy Campus 2020 comprises a set of objectives and guidelines developed over a course of five years to assist certified universities nationwide in creating safer, healthier environments for their students.

“We are focusing on implementing a comprehensive, holistic, collaborative approach so that our students and employees can flourish and be fulfilled,” said Suzy Harrington, executive director at the Center for Community Health and Well-Being.

ACHA makes available several resources to help Tech and the other 42 Health Campus Partners pursue the Healthy Campus 2020 goals.

“The ACHA survey provides the data to track the specific objectives,” Harrington said. “They also have a fabulous website with resources for those just starting a health and well-being program to those deeper into their initiatives.”

At Tech, the Office of Health Promotion is in charge of addressing students’ health needs through a variety of awareness and facilitation programs.

“Our priorities this year are mental health, sexual violence, and alcohol and other drugs,” said Vladimir Oge, director of Health Promotion. “We are looking at past assessments and further refining our data tool for more effective programming and services, to ensure we are improving health behavior and mitigating risks.”

One of Health Promotion’s priorities is to provide support to survivors of sexual violence while increasing access to information about safe, consensual sex.

“Health Promotion coordinates the VOICE Initiative, a comprehensive sexual violence program with a mission to end sexual violence at Georgia Tech through prevention, and victim advocacy services to support survivors of sexual assault,” Oge said.

“The GYP (Get Yourself Protected) campaign is geared towards promoting safer sex practices via print and social media, along with increasing the availability of condoms for students who choose to engage in sexual activity,” Oge said.

Health Promotion also works with outside organizations to bring new health programs
to campus.

“Through a partnership with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, we promote a number of outreach programs aimed at preventing the consequences associated with alcohol abuse,
including impaired or distracted driving,” Oge said.

“Our mission is to provide learning opportunities to empower students to make healthy decisions,” Harrington said. “The best way to make healthy decisions is to equip yourself with the knowledge and information that enables you to stay healthy.”

Harrington encourages students interested in finding out more about health initiatives on campus to check out Health Promotion online.

“All of the information about the programs and services we provide is readily available via our website: healthpromotion.gatech.edu,” Harrington said. “Additionally, students are encouraged to follow us on our many social media platforms.”