Mental Health a Factor in Student Prayer Revival
In early February, an intimate gathering of students at Asbury University, a small Christian college in Kentucky, transformed into a massive spontaneous worship, attracting thousands from all over the country and lasting multiple weeks. Many are calling the event an unprecedented prayer “revival,” The Boston Globe reports, given the lagging importance of religious faith for Americans today. At Asbury, the engagement of young people, typically associated with the most religious disillusionment, was especially notable. The worship not only sprung from a college campus but drew college students from over 250 different institutions and inspired similar sessions at other universities. As for the revival’s impact, some of the young participants have reported experiencing miraculous healing, specifically from their mental health challenges.
Mental and Behavioral Health
The Washington Post Editorial Board considers bipartisan efforts to quell the swelling teen mental health crisis, arguing that making therapeutic services more accessible is not the full solution: The nation’s leaders also need to address and counter “a toxic sludge of selfishness and entitlement that’s corrosive to the culture,” and weighing on today’s youth.
NPR highlights the latest TikTok trend, featuring young college applicants who open their decision letters on video and share their reactions to acceptances or, often, rejections.
NPR also features the influence of recovery high schools, of which there are around 40 across the United States aimed at supporting teens who have struggled with substance use and mental health challenges.
CNN covers a recent study, published earlier this week, demonstrating a correlation between positive social experiences and better mental as well as physical health.
Diverse Education addresses the decline in community college enrollment, suggesting that satisfying basic needs, including mental health needs, is necessary to get students back in the classroom.
Inside Higher Ed describes how bringing not only dogs but horses to college campuses is gaining popularity as a way to address student mental health needs during particularly stressful times of year, including finals.
Fortune Well profiles two young innovators who are trying to tackle the youth mental health crisis with the help of technology—namely, a new music therapy program, SoundMind.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The New York Times profiles the progressive writer and thinker Richard Kahlenberg, also referred to as “The Liberal Maverick Fighting Race-Based Affirmative Action.” Kahlenberg says his position in favor of class-conscious rather than race-conscious affirmative action is rooted in advocacy for the working class. His detractors say he’s naive about the degree to which racism imbues American society.
Among the anti-DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) legislation unfurling nationwide, Ohio’s proposed bill in particular is sounding alarm bells, The Chronicle suggests. Also in The Chronicle: an op-ed by two educators from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sheds light on their experience being asked by state officials to “justify” their work related to DEI.
The Lantern delves into the pressures that students at Ohio State confront during packed midterm seasons, and what strategies they can use to reduce stress.
Also in The Lantern: Digital detoxes, or efforts to limit screen time, may have several mental and physical health benefits for students, including lowering stress, improving concentration, and regulating sleep.
The Crimson announces the onset of the first Harvard Wellbeing Week, an initiative organized by the Student Wellbeing Council offering a variety of mental health programming.
The Crimson then reports that a group of undergraduate students launched a national student movement this week championing social prescribing, or “a practice allowing physicians to prescribe non-medical interventions.”
The Daily Wildcat spotlights a peer counseling initiative at the University of Arizona, called Friend2Friend, which involves several different student-staffed programs for counseling and other support.
The Daily Wildcat also homes in on the mental health impact for students, who may or may not have encountered violence before, of UA professor Thomas Meixner’s being shot and killed on campus.
The Tulane Hullabaloo profiles the new head of the university’s Campus Health department, Caesar Ross, who says his commitment to students and their needs is his utmost priority.
The Editorial Board for The Brown Daily Herald argues that updating critical recreational facilities, like gyms, can put the college on the road to improving student mental health.
Hamline University fired an art history lecturer after she showed depictions of the prophet Muhammad—a practice some Muslims consider forbidden idolatry—to her class. After the dismissal sparked months of debate around academic freedom and Islamophobia, The New York Times says, Hamline president Fayneese S. Miller has announced her retirement starting in June, 2024.
The Chronicle reviews the latest enrollment report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, finding that the number of high school students dual-enrolled at community colleges increased 13% from last spring. The growth of this student population is in contrast to the overall decline of community college enrollment in recent years. “Consumers are abandoning [community colleges] in droves,” The Hechinger Report writes.
As a result of the pandemic, eligibility requirements for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) changed so that it would be more accessible to students, Inside Higher Ed explains. In anticipation of a return to pre-pandemic regulations, the Education Department is encouraging colleges and universities to warn students who will otherwise lose their eligibility to enroll in a final year of SNAP before the upcoming deadline.
WBUR covers the expansion of free community college for all Boston residents, who are now eligible regardless of age, income, or immigration status. While this change strives to improve the accessibility of higher education for students, an op-ed in Central Maine also delves into how free tuition can leave community colleges without enough resources to adequately pay adjunct faculty.
The Wall Street Journal reveals that Jason Wingard, the first Black president of Temple University, resigned after two years in the position. Amid concerns about Wingard’s ability to manage campus safety issues, faculty and staff evidently planned to hold a no-confidence vote against their campus leader.
In Florida, students at public universities seem likely to become the next to lose access to TikTok, according to The Tampa Bay Times. A committee of the state’s Board of Governors approved emergency regulation to enact such a ban, which is already active in Alabama as a response to nation-wide security concerns around the popular social media app.