Jolie speaks with Dani Haynes, coordinator of student case management at BGSU, and Dr. Sandra Earle, an associate professor of pharmaceutical science at the University of Findlay and a university advocate at BGSU. They discuss how COVID-19 has exacerbated food insecurity for many students and share advocacy strategies to mitigate the stigma, shame, and misinformation around basic needs insecurity on college campuses.

 

Announcer:

From Bowling Green State University and the Institute for the Study of Culture & Society, this is BG Ideas.

Musical Intro:

I'm going to show you this with a wonderful experiment.

Jolie :

Welcome back to the Big Ideas Podcast, a collaboration between the Institute for the Study of Culture & Society and the School of Media and Communication at Bowling Green State University. I'm Jolie Sheffer, Associate Professor of English and American Culture Studies and the Director of ICS.

Jolie :

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we're not recording in the studio, but from home via phone and computer. As always, the opinions expressed on this podcast are those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily reflect those of BGSU or its employees. Bowling Green State University is located in the Great Black Swamp, long a meeting place of the Wyandotte, Shawnee, Lenape, Ottawa, Kickapoo, Fox, Pottawatomie, Erie, Miami, Peoria, Chippewa, and Seneca Indian Tribes. We honor the rich history of this land and its indigenous inhabitants past and present.

Jolie :

Today, I'm joined by Dani Haynes and Dr. Sandra Earle. Dani works in the BGSU Dean of Students office as the Coordinator for Student Case Management. She also founded the Falcon Care Grab and Go initiative to address student hunger and food insecurity. And Dr. Sandy Earle is an associate professor of pharmaceutical science and Associate Dean for Assessment for the College of Pharmacy at the University of Findlay. Sandy also serves as a university advocate at BGSU with a special interest in providing assistance to those in crisis and ensuring food security for all students.

Jolie :

I'm very happy to have this conversation. To start, I'd like each of you to share how you got interested in student crisis intervention and advocacy work, particularly around the issue of hunger and food insecurity. Dani, do you want to start us?

Dani:

Well, I got started in student issues, student crises about six years ago. I used to work for a nonprofit and originally I was working in survivor services for survivors of sexual violence, domestic violence. And I was an advocate at the University of Toledo for their Title IX process. And so throughout that time, I began to notice some of the issues that students were having that didn't necessarily coincide with Title IX incidents, but was still very traumatizing to the individual.

Dani:

So, when I started here at BG, I still had some of those same notes in my mind, but I wasn't sure if it translated to the student population. Within maybe my first six months, I began to see some students who were housing insecure and food insecure. And I know that BG already had the Falcon Care program, which you can donate some swipes to students in need. Then,throughout the summer, I realized the dining halls weren't necessarily open, and so those students didn't have the same opportunity to receive resources.

Dani:

And originally I began to provide them food from Kingsbury, which is where I lived. I would take food into the office and then Chris was like, "Are you feeding students?" And so I said, "Hypothetically. Will I get in trouble?" Because we need this job." And so I explained, "Well, students are hungry. And I, as a mom, cannot see students hungry. I just can't do it." And I explained what some of the issues were.

Dani:

And so he said, "Okay. You can start this program. We'll give you some money. Let's see how successful it would be."

Dani:

And so originally, there was a bet on if I can provide close to 50 bags for the first year and we served 47 bags within the first year, which highlighted that there was a need. Since then we have provided 159 grab-and-go food bags since our initiation. So, that's just to say the need is growing, not just because of the pandemic, which has exacerbated the need and provided greater awareness for those who didn't necessarily see that it existed. So that's just a little bit about how I got into crisis.

Jolie :

What about you, Sandy? How did you come to be interested in food security issues?

Sandra:

Well, I have been a professor for a long time and I absolutely love being around college students and obviously as a teacher and as a professor, my focus has, for a long time, been on student success and how do I help them? And I teach something that's kind of challenging usually, so I'm always trying to think of how to help them.

Sandra:

And as my husband Rodney moved into the presidency, people told me, "Hey, Sandy, you have some power. You could use your power for good." And I'm like, "Really?" Because of course, what do I know about this? This is not my gig. This is his. But if I can use my power for good, I better darn well do it. Right? It's my responsibility. And of course I love it. I love being able to help students and everybody obviously, but students are probably in the position that need the most support from somebody like me.

Sandra:

And honestly, I was fairly unaware of this problem of food insecurity on campuses. It's much more serious than maybe my being very poor as a student, but this is real food insecurity that people even bring from their home. So, I came from a home where I never was wanting for food, but once I was on my own college, things got a little tight.

Sandra:

So, if you think you don't even have that safety net from home, so you're coming from that. And how do we expect these students to be successful in school if they have to worry about what they're going to eat next time, or where they're going to sleep, or if they're safe walking across campus, or if they're dealing with some mental health issues or crises? How do we expect them to sit and study and take a test? Of course, we can't.

Sandra:

My goal is to make sure that the only thing students are worrying about is their exam. That's my goal. Of course, that's a pretty lofty one and it's certainly beyond my power, but whatever I can do to help with that is my goal.

Jolie :

Sandy, we know that stress in childhood, including around poverty and food insecurity, has dramatic consequences on children's brain development. Can you tell us a little bit about the biochemical and psychological effects of resource insecurity?

Sandra:

Well, I could tell you what I know, which isn't a lot, other than the research that I've done as an person of interest, not from a scientist standpoint. But it's very clear that if students, especially young children, don't get the nutrition that they need, this is a critical time for brain development and their ability. And not only that, but for them to feel safe in this world, that they don't have to be worrying about things that they should not be worrying about, and dealing with actually being able to fuel that brain chemistry that we need to learn and to be happy.

Sandra:

And we can't minimize the happiness part. I think that people that are in constant distress, it's physically very bad for your body and obviously emotionally and mentally break down because we've got to deal with our most basic needs first. There's plenty of research on that. But kids that are without food or stable environments, homes, et cetera, their chances for success in this world are so diminished. It's a crisis.

Sandra:

And I'm especially worried during this time of COVID. There's so many kids, especially kids that have single working moms. I think of this every day. Because I feel like some days I'm struggling and I have every luxury. And I think these moms and dads that are single parents that have to go to work probably, because we know that those that are making the least in our society, as far as their income, it's something like 85 or 90% of them, and Dani, you can correct me if the percentages are wrong, but they cannot do their job virtually.

Sandra:

And the people that are at the very top income brackets, those folks, 95% of them can do their job virtually. So, while it isn't going to be easy to do your job virtually and teach your kid, at least you're physically there. So, I don't know. I don't know how to help this, and this is not necessarily food insecurity specifically, but just the COVID situation and you have to work to get food on the table. That's not an option.

Jolie :

I'm going to ask Dani a question, which is what does food insecurity actually look like on a college campus? Because we were talking before about the salad days of ramen or mac and cheese. But that's not really what we're talking about primarily. So, what does it look like on college campuses and how is it perhaps different than what we hear or think about with K-12 students, where they can get breakfast and lunch? But how does it show up at BGSU?

Dani:

Okay. So for K-12, let's talk about in elementary, in BG. At least 90 to 95% of their students are free lunch or reduced lunch. So, let's think: If that full population came to BG later on, they've been food insecure their entire lives. And they bring it to BG, what does that look like? It is the ramen noodles. It is the Kraft mac and cheese, but it's more than that.

Dani:

It's making a conscious decision to go without something, usually food, so that you can pay something else. Between 6% of university students in a four year institution go at least one day without eating. 10% at a community college. Roughly 44% of collegiates on university campuses struggle with food insecurity. So, it's surviving off of granola bars. It's saying, "Oh, I'm hungry, but let me drink some water." It's trying to get a free meal from a friend because you don't have another way to get it.

Dani:

Or it's coming from a food insecure background and then you get to college and you have all these meal swipes, and so you hoard food because you've been without food for so long and then you become panicked when your meal swipes are getting lower, your Falcon dollars are getting low. It looks different for each and every student because it's always a case by case basis. But some of the signs to look for in food insecure students would be those students you always see asking for food. And we've had some of those students, especially in the Nest, always standing around. You have those students who you invite out to lunch, dinner, or breakfast and they can never go. You have those students, you go to their house and their refrigerator is pretty bare. And so it's really about teaching them what food insecurity is.

Dani:

I know I went to Ohio State. I come from a single parent household and I'm first-generation, so nobody explained food insecurity to me. What I expected from college is, you will struggle. That is college. So, when I was food insecure in college, I didn't know that it was a problem. I walked into it like, "Oh, this is to be expected. This is normal."

Dani:

Students today are still thinking, "Oh, it's okay for me to struggle and survive off noodles." That's still food insecurity because it is expected. I was told this is what I can expect from college, right? So, when you are living the life that you've been told is the typical college experience, you don't identify it as a problem because it's never been taught to you to be a problem. And so that's the other piece of food insecurity that we need to start talking about. That being a struggling college student does not mean going hungry. It doesn't mean going to class starving and thinking, "Oh, I need to focus and I may just eat some noodles when I get home and that will hold me over for the next couple of days." That's not a struggling college student. Struggling college student could be classes, it may be finances, it can be a whole host of things, but it should never be food insecurity.

Jolie :

What are some of the initiatives that you two are working on to address these needs on campus?

Sandra:

So, one of the little things that I help do is starting the community garden. So, the community garden is just outside the art building. Anybody can walk by and get whatever they need if there's something there that they need or want. It's not something you have to sign up for. You don't have to tell anybody your name. You just get what you need and if I were queen of the world, I would replace all the shrubs with food.

Sandra:

Unfortunately, we live in a climate where there's not too much we can plant that will be there all year. But we live in a farmland. This is, as you mentioned, we live in the black swamp where the soil is quite amazing. If you look around at the farms, we have very high producing farms around here. Let's plant some food and just be able to walk by and pick what you want. I know that sounds probably idealistic, but why not have that for a goal?

Dani:

I actually love the community garden. So, I always promote the community garden. One, because fresh produce is really hard to come by for food insecure students, because that's not what it's given at entries. So, that community garden is amazing. Don't knock it or sell it short. It's pretty amazing. And it's cute. All the students like, "Oh, is that what those boxes are?" I'm like, "Yeah, go get some food." And I am a tomato and cucumber girl, I'm a vegetarian. I can survive off tomato and cucumbers like nobody's business, which that garden produces a lot of.

Dani:

Some of our other resources is the Falcon Care Program, which students can donate one swipe a week. You can do that virtually if you go to the Office of the Dean of students webpage or our present website, which a lot of our student orgs use, you can click on resources and there should be a link to take you to donate a swipe.

Dani:

Those swipes come to me on a meal card and it's really discreet. So, if a student is food insecure and they come and get a meal card, it has five swipes on it. No one else is going to be able to identify, "Oh, they went to Dani and got a free food card." It's not like that. We have that program, which has been here for years and it's really great that Chartwells have partnered with us to support students facing food insecurity.

Dani:

We also have the grab-and-go food bag program that you mentioned. That bag of food, each bag is about $20.08 because I priced it out. In that bag, you'll get almost a week worth of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A little bit more if you stretch it. So in order to inform students about that, I don't know if you all have seen some of the digital marketing on the screens that says, "Don't go hungry" and then it has, "Go to the Dean of Students office." That is to promote our food assistance programs.

Dani:

So, we have our Hunger/Homelessness awareness week. It's a week worth of programming. We started the event last year. This is our second one. It is November 16th through the 20th. We have a number of events. We plan on using Greek councils to do a food drive for that week to support our food bank program. We also plan on collecting swipes virtually. We plan on partnering with some student organizations and some residence life students to promote that program. And then we have some cooking demonstration videos that will be released that week to show students how to prepare food within our grab and go food bag. Sometimes it looks just like a lot of random, quick things that you can take on the go, which it is meant for that.

Dani:

And also a lot of students don't have cooking utensils, which is strange. Can openers. You will not believe how many students can't eat the canned food because they don't have a can opener. So, it is meant to be accessible and easy and quick on the go. But there are ways you can make meals like mac and cheese. You can put the tuna in there and have tuna mac, right? But showing them that they can do that. So those are some of our resources.

Jolie :

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BGSU, like universities across the country, moved with very little notice to remote and online instruction. We are now back open, but with a dramatically reduced footprint on campus. How has the pandemic affected students in terms of their access to things like food, housing, and other necessities? How has the pandemic changed some of the student needs and how have the initiatives you're offering adjusted to meet those changing needs?

Sandra:

I'm just going to comment on one thing on this, Dani, because you're really the one that knows the facts on this. I know from talking to Rodney and others in the leadership of the university, there's a huge concern, and this is probably happening nationally, I just have not seen it, he is very concerned because the group of students that did not come back this fall are the lowest income students as far as family income.

Sandra:

He said, "We had a big jump in family income if we look at our average family income of our students." And that's because we've lost the lower income students. And this is extremely alarming to me as an educator and as a member of our society that wants people to have access to education. One of the things when it comes to food insecurity is that if you have a college degree, less than 5% of people with college degrees have food insecurity. But if you don't have a high school diploma, about 27% of those folks have food insecurity.

Sandra:

So, education is a social mobility thing that we have to work diligently through to make sure that it's available to those that want to better their life's lot. I really worry that families that were hit hard by the COVID pandemic, no longer is college an option for them. And this is a huge problem.

Sandra:

Dani, maybe you have more statistics on this. But I know that Rodney is super concerned about this and he worries that it's not just that they're taking a break. The window of going to college is fairly short. So if they're not coming now, they're probably not coming. So, it's a worry. And it's not about keeping numbers up for college. It's about providing social mobility for these students that really, I'm sure, were excited and counting on it and now it's just not a possibility.

Dani:

That is a really great point that I think a lot of people have not really given a lot of thought to, is the students who are not coming to college. The lower income student, the first-generation student. And because it's a family dynamic. So, if your entire family is struggling, if you were the one to assist with your siblings or other parental adults or guardians, and then they are getting sick or they can't work as much, you make a sacrifice because it takes a village. And so that is one way that we should be concerned about our students and that COVID has brought more light to.

Dani:

In addition to that is the amount of students who live check to check. I think a lot of times people really think collegiates are far more wealthy or have far more parental support than they do. And so one thing we've noticed immediately is when the university closed in the spring semester, the amount of student emergency fund requests, it tripled. Actually, it's just off the charts.

Dani:

Normally we would donate a dozen, maybe two dozen awards to students. At this point, we're close to 1400 students applying for our student emergency fund. And it's not because they feel entitled. It's literally because they don't have the familial support. They were living check to check. When you think of international students, they can't work anywhere but on campus and we're not hiring them. So, where do they go? They don't qualify for the community resources. They don't qualify for loans. And so that's an entire demographic of students that is really hard to serve. And you want them here, because again, this is a great opportunity for them, but how do we meet their needs? So, you can think of how COVID has highlighted some of that.

Dani:

And then the final piece, again, is food insecurity. So, I think the student emergency fund really highlights some of the housing insecurity because it is living month to month. It is worrying if you're going to be evicted. But food insecurity, since COVID, I think in the spring semester, we provided two dozen food bags to students. We partner with our BGSU Police Departments because they're 24 hours. And students were able to go there and collect the bags so that they could still have access to the resources. We were still able to use some of our Chartwells Falcon Care Cards, the students will be able to go and grab a meal from dining hall and take it to go. So, that was still an access for them. We really was able to transition very well to continue to support the students and we're very thankful for all of our partners who helped us with that. As of right now, our office is still open 8:00 to 5:00. So, if students need food, they can always come and grab a bag.

Dani:

We're always thinking of new ways to support our students in food insecurity. I know Chartwells just provided 10 HelloFresh type of boxes that they had left over. And so I emailed a lot of our food insecure students, "We have these free boxes of food. Come." And they came immediately. Like, "Oh, absolutely." And so that's just to show, although I had just helped them within the last couple of weeks, they're still food insecure. They're still seeking resources.

Dani:

And then the last one is the mobile food pantry. They've been able to go off campus and use the drive in. Their numbers are still large because, although we closed campus, the students were still here. They have a lease. They may not be able to go home. So, I think COVID has really shown how much the community needs one another and how there are so many ways we can support one another that we probably would not have thought of pre-COVID.

Jolie :

We're going to take a quick break. Thanks for listening to the Big Ideas Podcast.

Musical Interlude:

Question. Answer. Discussion.

Announcer:

If you are passionate about big ideas, consider sponsoring this program. To have your name or organization mentioned here, please contact us at ics@bgsu.edu.

Jolie :

Hello and welcome back to the Big Ideas podcast. Today, I'm talking to Dani Haynes and Dr. Sandy Earle about student food insecurity and other challenges made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jolie :

Sandy, in addition to your advocacy work, you are a researcher studying how different drugs affect the body and in turn how the body can change a drug, as well as you're interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning. How do you understand the relationship between these different roles? How does your research inform your teaching and your advocacy and vice versa?

Sandra:

Well, that's a great question. I probably don't reflect on that as much as I should on a day-to-day basis. I don't know. I've been very blessed in life. I love my job. I love my students. I really like learning new things. I like to continue to learn. I think most people in academic environments do.

Sandra:

I am very interested and have done some work and trying to figure out how to help each student learn in the way that they do. I don't have a degree in this area. My area of expertise is pharmacokinetics, which is modeling drugs to figure out how much drug needs to be where in the body at a certain time to be efficacious but not toxic. So my actual training, as far as my academic training and what I teach, doesn't really help that much. Other than my interest in math and modeling things, and really knowing that everybody's unique, and that's what pharmacokinetics teaches you too. You're tailoring it to that unique situation and everyone's unique.

Sandra:

I love what I teach. I think it's very interesting and I think it helps patients have the best experience that they can have. And so it's important for me to help pharmacists know how to do this, but I have really become more engaged and that's through my work in assessment and helping students be successful in the classroom. And this, I guess, again, leads back to the food insecurity and not having to worry about ... Yes, you should be worried about your test. Yes, you should be worried about your project and your paper. You need to be worried about all that. But please don't worry so much that you can't be successful. But I don't want you worrying about food and shelter. And so I guess circling back to that, I explained my path, I guess, how I've evolved as an academic. But ...

Jolie :

One of the things that you're really talking about is this tension between addressing the individual needs of a given student, but also recognizing that we live in a society that the systems themselves are unequal, right? And so we also see patterns of inequality around access, around some of the resources. So, a 2019 study by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that LGBTQ +, Black, and Native American students were significantly more likely to be food insecure, housing insecure, or a combination of the two. Can you explain for listeners, why is it that some members of these groups are at an increased risk? And what are some of the things that universities can do to help meet those students' needs?

Sandra:

Well, I think, and Dani, you can jump in here too, but from my understanding and my reading, it's because they're in a situation where often they live, they've been brought up in food deserts, which are more and more common and problematic in our society. And if you don't know what a food desert is, it's an area that you cannot get affordable, appropriate food within your local area. Because a lot of folks don't have transportation either. And especially during COVID when the bus systems shuts down, how are you going to get food when there is no food for you to get? Especially healthy, affordable food.

Sandra:

And as Dani mentioned before, produce is especially difficult to get. And as a healthcare practitioner, we know that diets that are just made of processed food or fast food is not what we want people to be eating. But to be able to get the fresh produce and to get affordable, fresh produce, in a lot of places you have to have a car. And this is often where people that are disadvantaged because of their race or their sexual identity are put at great disadvantage.

Sandra:

So, I don't know if that answers your question. But we also know that COVID, for these groups that are in such distress anyway, COVID has affected them as the disease itself and access to all the support systems that they need, it's hit them in two to three, probably more than that, fold when compared to others that are not in these groups of, as you've mentioned, gender identity minorities, as well as Native Americans and People of Color in general. Dani, you may have more light to shed on that.

Dani:

So, you said a lot of great points. The only thing that I would add is those demographics, or that population of students that you mentioned, you can also think they are probably more times than not an independent student when you think of student financial aid. So with that, that means there's not very much familial with support or monetary support. They're probably working a little bit more than 10 to 20 hours a week to come to college, to survive in college.

Dani:

So, there's so many other factors. Really, when you think about student financial aid, it is way more than Pell Grants and things like that. You should always think of those independent students as those students who constantly need high touch points. For the last three to four years, I did reach out to student financial aid last summer and on average BGSU receives about 1,400 independent students that self identify as independent students through student financial aid.

Dani:

Those 1,400 students should be students that we are always checking in on because we know, based on that status alone, they don't have the support. So, just things like that. Again, I mentioned earlier on I love trends and things like that. So, it's always about knowing, yes there's marginalized identities, they will struggle at a greater rate for a number of reasons. And a lot of it could be systemic. Also learning, what are some of the other groups of students or why those particular groups still align within other challenges, really? So, I think that would be the other piece I would add.

Jolie :

What are some of your practical recommendations for what institutions can do to support students facing basic needs insecurities?

Dani:

I think the first one would be making it available. So for example, Wood County, BG in particular, there's no homeless shelter for just the average person we have Cocoon. So, maybe we could have Residence Life provide immediate shelter for students in need and not just those in a Title IX situation, which is always great and we are very appreciative. Could it be possibly creating family housing? Because we know that our student demographic will change. We will probably get more parents. Where are they going to stay? What are the support services that we have?

Dani:

Student organizations. Is it just directed towards average college age students or all collegiates? So, if the meetings and things like that are in the evening, then I'm probably not going to go, but those same meetings have free food that I would probably benefit from. So, it's just really looking at all of those little pieces and how, if we shifted them or added additional resources like having afternoon meetings or having a grocery store, not just the pantry, but an actual grocery store where you could just shop and have all types of items.

Dani:

I know that we partner with the French thrift shop in Woodland Mall. And so we give students clothing vouchers that they need. That has been a really great resource for student parents, because everything in there is 50 cent or $1 and you don't have to pay for it because we already have the clothing vouchers. We partner with LMARIES Laundromat. That's been super awesome because yes, the residential students have free laundry through residence life, but off campus it's really expensive to wash clothes.

Dani:

I know when I was a grad student, I went to school overseas and it was super expensive. I never dried my clothing for a whole year. All of my clothes were crunchy. I remember when I came back home, that was something I was really excited about because I couldn't afford both. Clean clothes I can do, but you just going to have to air-dry and they're crunchy. They are not the same. It's a privileged opportunity that I realized is a real thing. But laundry was really expensive. So having that as a resource to students.

Dani:

Having toilet paper and regular household items. A student just asked me, "Can I buy light bulbs with the Walmart food card?" And I was like, "Dani, why did you not think that students need light bulbs?" They need to see. And they just bring so many things to my attention, for resources that they need. It's so incredible because we're humans, we have our own apartment and yet we take a lot of things for granted. And so I think the other thing is within higher education, we can look at some of those things that we take for granted as something that everyone has and makes sure that our students will have them.

Sandra:

And frankly, I don't have much to add to that other than I think the biggest thing I would say is don't assume you know. Don't assume anything. I have learned a lot about this just from hanging around people like Dani and doing some reading on my own. And don't assume you know. I have learned that there's students on our campus that not only did their parents not support them, but they're upset that they're here.

Sandra:

So, there's so much. And I think as somebody that has never had to worry about this, to put yourself in the shoes of someone that does, and really look at it with love and compassion and sometimes I get upset cause I see people's comments about food insecurity and dismissing it. And I think that's the biggest thing I would say, is people need to be open to the possibility of what this is and thinking about what it would be like to be in this situation. And then trying to do something about it. Whether that's with actually giving gifts of money to the different food pantries and of course to the BGSU Student Emergency Fund to support students.

Sandra:

And it's not only students, it's also staff and faculty that are in this situation. And we want to make sure our whole community is taken care of. So, to give monetary gifts, or to Dani's point, maybe take someone that you know out to eat or offer them even something subtle like a bag of cucumbers from your garden. Just put yourself in their shoes and do what you can. If you're in the position where you can help, I would encourage you to do that. Because our society, we're really dependent upon each other. During this time especially.

Jolie :

So, that really leads to my last question. So, for folks who want to support these initiatives, what are some things they can do? So Sandy, you mentioned donating to the student emergency fund. Are there other places or ways that people can give if they are able to do so?

Sandra:

I'm going to let Dani answer that. I know you can do that through the Student Emergency Fund. I'm sure that you can support the different food pantries in the area, but I'm going to turn that one over to Dani because this is her thing.

Dani:

So, there's always opportunities to help students. Is it connecting through student organizations that also serve student populations? Is it the Center for Public Impact? They do a lot of assisting with students. Is it donating swipes so that we can have swipes for our Falcon Care program or donating food to the grab and go food bag program? Is it winter apparel? Last year during Hunger/Homelessness Awareness week, I had some coats and gloves and other winter apparel. Our off-campus commuter service program actually knitted a lot of the scarves and hats.

Dani:

You'd be surprised how many people come to BG, not fully understanding that, one, BG is a windy tunnel. As soon as I step foot on the campus, it is so windy. I don't understand where the wind comes from. So, it's always really cold. Students are not always prepared for that.

Dani:

So, it's having maybe a clothing closet or creating that or saying, "Hey, I have all of these coats or winter apparel. Is there anyone in need?" Is it hygiene products? Do you have those? Is it supporting students during move in? Like sponsoring a student's bedding or ensuring that students have maybe a refrigerator or microwave? It's so many little pieces that we can do to help. I think as long as we begin to focus on serving the students in most need, we will always be able to serve all of our students because it only goes up from there.

Jolie :

And Dani, for students who may be in need of some of these resources, what's their next step to access them?

Dani:

They can go to the Office of the Dean of Students webpage and all of our resources are there. If you click on support and guidance, it will take you to the case management services page and you'll be able to access this. If you can't remember that, if you type in free food in the BGSU main page, it takes you to a landing page that has resources for free food, as well as application for our food assistance programs.

Dani:

The applications is not meant to decline, it's meant to gain some information. Because if a student is facing food insecurity, they're facing financial insecurity, they're facing other things that I can assist with as a case manager that you may not always have the opportunity to do if I don't know who you are. So, that's another resource.

Dani:

And then always, if you can't remember that, think of Office of the Dean of Students. We have drop-in hours Monday through Friday, 8:00 to 5:00. You can always call 211, that's a community resource. So, no matter where you are as a BG student, especially when we have a lot of virtual students, 211 and they will be able to direct you to any community resource that is available so that you're not just reliant on our campus resources, because it's not going to sustain you if it's an ongoing issue.

Jolie :

Great, thank you both so much for joining me today.

Jolie :

Listeners can keep up with ICS happenings by following us on Twitter and Instagram @ICSBGSU and on our Facebook page. You can find the Big Ideas podcast wherever you find your favorite podcasts. Please subscribe and rate us on your preferred platform. Our producers are Chris Cavera and Marco Mendoza with sound editing by Marco Mendoza. Research assistance was provided by ICS intern Morgan Taylor, with editing by Kari Hanlin.

Musical Outro:

Discussion.

Share | Download(Loading)