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Safe and Healthy Campus Community

NYU includes a complex network of global communities in which social and physical factors combine to influence health. Many health issues – such as violence and unintentional injury, transportation safety, and the risk of communicable disease – affect not only an individual but also the population at large. With its growing position as a global university, it is critical for NYU to focus on risk reduction strategies and proactive approaches for health and safety issues common to all students and staff studying and working at sites throughout the world.


Key Facts

Communicable Disease

  • 12.3% of college students reported negative impact on individual academic performance as a result of having a cold or the flu.10
  • Immunization can decrease the chances of getting influenza by 70-90% in healthy adults when there is an optimal match between the available vaccine and circulating influenza strains.11
  • An annual average of 41,400 deaths have been attributed to influenza using mortality data between 1979 and 2001.12
  • Nearly 100% of NYU students have received two MMR immunizations.
  • Many NYU students do not receive all of the CDC recommended vaccinations, including less than 40% receiving an annual influenza vaccination.9

Transportation Safety

  • Intentional and unintentional injuries are the two leading causes of death for 15-24 year olds in New York City.1
  • Between 1996 and 2003, a total of 3,462 NYC bicyclists were seriously injured in crashes with motor vehicles.2
  • 97% of the bicyclists who died in crashes in NYC from 1996 and 2005 were not wearing a helmet. Most fatal crashes (74%) involved a head injury.2
  • More than half of the NYU students who ride bicycles or in-line skate do not wear helmets.10
  • Pedestrian injury is one of the top ten leading causes of hospitalization due to injury for 15-24 year olds in New York City.3
  • Pedestrians accounted for 52% of traffic fatalities in NYC from 2005-2009.4
  • There are 4 times as many pedestrians killed or severely injured per mile of street in
    Manhattan as in the other four boroughs.4
  • Between 1990 and 2003, there were 315 accidental deaths on the New York City subway system.5

Violence

  • Nationally, more than 1 in 4 college-aged women report experiences that meet the legal definitions of rape or attempted rape.6
  • Between 1995 and 2002, U.S. college students ages 18–24 were victims of approximately 479,000 crimes of violence annually, including rape/sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault.8
  • Approximately 90% of NYU students report feeling safe on campus during the daytime.9

Suggestions for Faculty

This page is intended to be a resource containing suggestions for what you can do to increase NYU students’ personal responsibility for actions that contribute to a safe and healthy campus community.

Communicable Disease

• Get a flu vaccine. Influenza is highly contagious. Receiving a yearly influenza vaccination is the most effective way to reduce your risk and your students’ risk of catching the flu.13 Flu vaccines are important and available to students at the Student Health Center, and to faculty and staff through NYU Human Resource’s Live Smart program.

Display Student Health Center posters and fact sheets about cold and flu prevention measures. Staff, faculty, and students are encouraged to download prevention materials for display in work and living spaces such as lounges, restrooms, computer labs, gyms, cafeterias, kitchens, and break areas, etc. Placing wellness prompts in high traffic areas can be a highly effective method for reinforcing prevention measures such as proper covering your cough techniques and hand washing.

Promote the “flu buddy” program to students. To help prevent the transmission of influenza or other contagious illnesses, flu buddies check in and support one another when they are sick.

Encourage students to stay home when they are sick. This will help prevent the spread of infectious illnesses among you and your class. Include your absences and makeup policies in your syllabi so students have a clear understanding of your procedures and expectations.

Promote frequent hand washing. Thorough hand-washing and maintaining good hygiene can prevent the spread of viruses within the university community.14 If soap and water is not readily available, know where hand sanitizer dispensers are in academic buildings and consider putting a bottle of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol in your classroom or lab.

Avoid requesting an “excuse note” from students who miss class due to illness. The NYU Student Health Center does NOT issue “excuse notes” to students no matter how ill the student may be. Additionally, unnecessary visits to the Student Health Center can increase the spread of communicable illnesses and impair a student’s capacity to rest and get well at home.

Safety

Encourage students to study in groups for midterms and finals to prevent late nights alone in public locations. Remind students to call Safe Ride if they do not feel safe going home after the study session ends.

Know resources that are available to you assist a student who may be a victim of violence

For faculty involved with students travelling/studying abroad familiarize, register yourself and encourage your students to register with NYU Traveler. The NYU Traveler is a tool to enhance the safety of students, faculty, administrators, and staff traveling on University-related business. When you book or register through NYU Traveler, your travel plans are routed through Worldcue, a traveler safety service with which NYU has contracted. Worldcue will automatically alert the individual traveler to dangerous conditions that may have emerged where he or she will be traveling, and will automatically alert the University to emergencies, allowing it to move more rapidly to assist members of the NYU community.

Attend a workshop or class about preventing harassment and violence on-campus: The Office of Equal Opportunity offers education and awareness workshops for the University community, including faculty and staff, on a variety of topics such as Preventing Harassment on Campus and training on Title IX - Responding to Sexual Assault, Harassment, and Violence on Campus. Visit the NYU Policies and Guidelines page for a listing of classes and information about how to register.

Familiarize yourself with NYU’s Policy on Sexual Assault, Harassment and Other forms of Sexual Misconduct

Should your curriculum recommend or require the use of social media, remind students about cyberbullying, online stalking, and how to stay safe online. With the explosion of social media, faculty can be part of a larger conversation with students about digital citizenship and online behavior.  You can instruct them in safe, ethical, and responsible Internet use. Consider establishing “rules” for social media projects which will help students stay safer online. Basic tips include: know if your Department has a policy on using social media in the classroom, and comply; use public pages for your classes to post homework assignments and other updates; use groups to control membership and facilitate discussion; and address inappropriate content, and if necessary, report any threatening behavior to the Office of Community Standards and Compliance, Public Safety, or the Wellness Exchange. For more about teaching in a digital age, download the Facebook for Educators Guide and be familiar with personal internet safety precautions.

Encourage participation in and provide information about the NYU Bike Share program. NYU Bike Share requires all participants to attend a safety training workshop in order to ensure that students are able to traverse the city safely. After attending the workshop, students are eligible to rent bikes, with a helmet and safety-lock, for free from locations throughout campus. Request a workshop today!


safe and healthy campus community indicators


a) Flu vaccination

  • Data Source: ACHA#40C
  • Survey Question: Have you received the following vaccinations (shots series of shots): influenza (the flu) in the last 12 months (shot or nasal mist)?
  • Definition: proportion responding “yes”

b) Received information on violence prevention

  • Data Source: ACHA #2B9
  • Survey Question: Have you received information on the following topics from your college or university: violence prevention?
  • Definition: Provide information to all who report interest in receiving information on violence prevention.

c) Helmet wearing when bicycling

  • Data Source: ACHA#4B
  • Survey Question: Within the last 12 months, how often did you wear a helmet when you rode a bicycle?
  • Definition: of those who rode bikes, proportion responding “always”

  1. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Injury Surveillance and Prevention Program. Bureau of Environmental Disease Prevention. 10 leading causes of injury death, New York City: 2007-2009. Retrieved from http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/ip/ip-death-inj-rank.pdf
  2. New York City Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene, Parks and Recreation, Transportation, & the New York City Police Department. Bicyclist fatalities and serious injuries in New York City 1996-2005. Retrieved from http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/bicyclefatalities.pdf
  3. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Injury Surveillance and Prevention Program, Bureau of Environmental Disease Prevention. 10 Leading Causes of Injury Hospitalizations (Live Discharges), New York City: 2007-2009. Retrieved from http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/ip/ip-hosp-inj-rank.pdf
  4. New York City Department of Transportation. (2010, August). NYC pedestrian safety study & action plan. Retrieved from:
    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/nyc_ped_safety_study_action_plan.pdf
  5. Gershon, R. R. M., Pearson, J. M., Nandi, V., Vlahov, D., Bucciarelli-Prann, A., Tracy, … Galea, S. (2008). Epidemiology of subway-related fatalities in New York City, 1990-2003. Journal of Safety Research, 39(6), 583. Retrieved from https://ezproxy.library.nyu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/218403835?accountid=12768
  6. Koss, M., Gidycz, C., & Wisniewski, N. (1987). The scope of rape: Incidence and prevalence of sexual aggression and victimization in a national sample of higher education students. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55(2): 162–170.
  7. Fisher, B., Cullen, F., & Turner, M. (2000). The sexual victimization of college women: Findings from two national-level studies. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice and Bureau of Justice Statistics.
  8. Baum, K., & Klaus, P. (2005, January). Violent victimization of college students, 1995-2002 (NCJ Publication No. 206836). Washington, DC:  U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
  9. American College Health Association. (2009). American College Health Association - National College Health Assessment 2009 NYU Data. Hanover, MD: Author.
  10. American College Health Association. (2011, Spring). American College Health Association - National College Health Assessment Spring 2011 Results. Hanover, MD: Author.
  11. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011, March 9). Selecting the viruses in the seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine. Retrieved from
    http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/virusqa.htm
  12. Dushoff, J., Plotkin, J.B., Viboud, C., Earn, D.J.D, & Simonsen, L. (2006). Mortality due to influenza in the United States—An annualized regression approach using multiple-cause mortality data. American Journal of Epidemiology, 163(2), 181-187.
  13. Nichol, K.L., D’Heilly, S., & Ehlinger, E.P. (2008). Influenza vaccination among college and university students: Impact on influenza like illness, health care use, and impaired school performance. Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, 162(12), 1113-8.
  14. Barker, J., Stevens, D., Bloomfield, S.F. (2001). Spread and prevention of some common viral infections in community facilities and domestic homes. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 91(1), 7-21.


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