A survey from the National College Health Assessment, sponsored and distributed by the American College Health Association, has been distributed to selected UTM students to ask questions about sexual behavior, health, drug usage, and interpersonal violence, among other inquires related to general health and wellbeing.
Questions included, “Within the last 12 months, with how many partners have you had oral sex, vaginal intercourse, or anal intercourse?” and, “Did you or your partner use a method of birth control to prevent pregnancy the last time you had vaginal intercourse?”
Other questions are in relation to sexual partners, birth control methods, alcohol consumption, exercise and weight, and drug usage, among others.
In an email to The Medium, Chad Jankowski, UTM’s health education coordinator, explained that the purpose of the survey, which has been sent to one in three undergraduate students in varying years, is to provide data to the UTM Health and Counselling Centre to improve the health education and the outreach to students.
“We make very good use of the data to inform and improve health services, tailor programming to meet student needs, and inform institutional health promotion strategies such as U of T’s Mental Health Framework,” said Jankowski. “It is also used to advocate for student health provincially and nationally through the work of the Ontario University and College Health Association and the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services.”
According to Jankowski, this is the third time UTM has participated in the NCHA survey; the first time dates back to 2009 and second time was in 2013. Using the same questions annually in order to compare results, the data is used by the Health and Counselling Centre when training student leaders such as UTMSU Frosh leaders, Residence Life staff, and Sexual Education Centre volunteers.
“Similar to 2013, we’ve coordinated the timing with many other postsecondary schools across Canada so that the data can also be pool data to provide a snapshot of student health at UTM, at U of T, in Ontario, and across the country,” said Jankowski, who accounted a 25 percent student response rate in 2013.
The total numbers of participants who completed the survey this year is still in progress.
Survey participants have the chance to win an iPad Mini or one of 100 $25 gift cards to a variety of retailers, including the UTM Bookstore and campus food services.