Health 101 magazine relies on student feedback

Last school year SSU, as well as many other CSU campuses, was awarded a grant through California Mental Health Services Authority to send out a Student Health 101 magazine. 

It is strictly an online magazine geared towards students. It has many articles and homemade videos sent in by students from different CSUs. The magazine covers topics like emotional health, money, nutrition, stress and even relationships. 

Health Education Nurse Toni Boracchia from the Student Health Center assembles the first few pages of the magazine, which are geared toward SSU students. 

“Part of the reason for Student Health 101 was because of mental health issues that the magazine shares in a student friendly way. They do approach the topic of suicide, stress in college, and roommate issues. Things that are really pertinent to college students’ lifestyles,” said Boracchia.  

A parent version of the magazine is available, which was sent out during orientation to inform parents of SSU students to let them know what to expect with their students gone at school. This helps parents to also be in the loop about events regarding the Student Health Center at SSU. 

“A lot of the magazine articles are videos that are interactive. The best part is that you can get it anywhere, whether on your iPad or iPhone. You can even share it with others,” Boracchia said. 

The Student Health 101 magazine offers advice on how to cope with stress, or what to do when you don’t get enough sleep, or how to be fiscally responsible. There are “UCookbooks,” which are monthly videos that have students teach viewers how to make different dishes. “FitnessU” are videos that show students ways to exercise inside their homes or dorms without needing very much room to move around. 

Students can use some of the articles for tips about presentations and take quizzes that are available through the online magazine.  

The way the company decides what to put in the magazine is by the feedback they get from students. The company wants to have topics that students will enjoy reading about, but that will also help them learn about the topic. 

The other way they get information on what to put in the magazine is from a survey that the American College Health Association have every year that tells them what students are interested in. 

The grant was given to Sonoma State in August 2012. It is valid for two years, meaning this will be the last year SSU students will receive the magazine unless the grant is renewed. The only way the grant can be renewed is if students read the online magazine and give feedback to the company that publishes it. 

The feedback so far has been positive for most articles. For the academic year to date 6,763 students on Sonoma State’s campus have accessed Student Health 101. 

Boracchia encourages students to read the magazine and give feedback to it so that the grant can be renewed and continue to be beneficial to students’ lives. 

“In May there was an amount of 708 readers, which is surprising because people are thinking about leaving campus and are not thinking about school again until the fall,” Boracchia said. 

She took this as positive feedback for the magazine because it showed that no matter the month, readers were still interested in what was being published. 

There is only a year left for this grant, but it could be renewed if student interaction continues.