Graphic by Valerie De La O.
Going to college can be great for students or it can bring a tremendous amount of stress to their lives. Stress can be unbearable at times and can affect someone’s schooling and personal life. Luckily, Dixie State University has a way to help students in their time of need.
You might’ve noticed a section labeled “Student Concern Form” at the end of the Trailblazer Times eNewsletter and wondered what it is. A student or associate of a student, whether it be a friend or a family member, can fill out the form to help them succeed in whatever way necessary. The problems students may face could be academics, roommates, employment and finances, suicide or personal safety.
All the submitted forms go straight to Tiffany Draper, assistant director of student success over new students, family programs and early alert. She has a system that helps her reach out to different networks that the student is connected to so she can ask about the student.
If someone in the networks is associated to the student, Draper will ask the person to keep working with that student and provide updates when needed. If they don’t, she would contact the student personally and invite them in to try and help in any way possible.
Draper also said if concerns about a student are along the lines of anxiety and/or depression but not suicidal, she will forward the forms to the director of the Health and Wellness Center, Dylan Matsumori, and he will reach out to Hope Squad members to see who would like to take on a certain concern form without disclosing any personal information until a certain person takes on the task.
The CARE Team is another team Draper works with. They are composed of staff members in different areas such as the dean of students, chief of police, records, athletics, etc. who would be over certain students that need more to help find out what needs to be done with the student.
Draper said, “We had to set in place some very serious procedures on how to handle a lot of these concerns because a lot of students come in with serious stress and concerns, so we want a way to help them, and do it wisely.”
Students and members of the community can access the form through the parent & guardian site, student success site and the new student orientation site. Click on the link and fill out the form. Students are usually reached out to within 24 hours (during business hours).
The student concern form has been around for the past few years but only in the last two years has it been running the way it currently is due to Draper being in charge, and students have been taking advantage of it more than ever.
“I submitted a form about a friend I was concerned with last year and they were on top of the situation immediately,” said Kalil Smith, a nursing major from Las Vegas. “They got him the help he needed and he ended the semester really strong and is still doing good in school today.”
Smith said he can’t wait to watch his friend walk across the stage when he graduates. He wants nothing but the best for him and is really glad he was able to overcome what he was going through.
“I wish I knew about the student concern form the past couple of years,” said Jevante Suggs, a senior business major from Salt Lake City. “I know a lot of former students that went to Dixie that could’ve took [sic] advantage of something like this. They thought they couldn’t handle everything so they left and never came back.”
Something like this can stop a lot of students from dropping out. Students should take advantage of every resource they can before finally coming to the decision to drop out. These are people helping students with real life problems and they should be addressed and never ignored.
If you or anyone else you know could benefit from any of these programs or help offered, don’t be afraid to fill out a form. There is also the suicide hotline which can be reached anytime at 1-800-273-8255 as well as a mental health hotline at 1-888-993-3112.