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Stall Seat Journal

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90% of students read some or all of the Stall Seat Journals.

The Well's Health Survey, Spring 2016, n=856

Do you use the bathroom at VCU?

If so, you have probably read The Well's signature publication- The Stall Seat Journal. We go (pun intended) in 1300 bathrooms on both Monroe Park and MCV Campuses to bring you the latest information about what students at VCU are doing to stay healthy. From low-risk drinking to bystander engagement, the Stall Seat Journal is your #1 (lol) bathroom must-read.


Do you love the Stall Seat Journal?

Do you have a great story about what the Stall Seat Journal means to you? Are you an upper-class VCU student who wants to share words of wisdom to your younger self? Email thewell@vcu.edu with your Stall Seat story or notes to your younger self and you may be featured in an upcoming edition!


Haven't had a chance to use the bathroom on campus yet this month?

Check out our latest edition hanging out in a Stall near you, or read it right here!

Special thanks to Nina Shroder from University Counseling Services for her input into the development of this edition. 

April 2018 Tech Check Edition of the Stall Seat Journal focusing on the ways internet use impacts mental health

Tech Check! Get power from unplugging.
  • Does time spent online interfere with work or sleep?
  • Do you get anxious if you don’t have your phone in your hand?
  • Do you catch yourself mindlessly scrolling down your social media feed?
  • Do you feel lonely, sad, frustrated or envious after reading social media posts?
  • Do friends or family say your phone use interferes with togetherness?
Check a lot of boxes?
You’re not alone. Plenty of Rams are frustrated with the way social media, games and even wiki-walks capture their attention. Emotional distress in young people has increased, and research shows smartphones are likely a big contributor. Students challenged by new environments, classwork and relationships now have new online stressors to contend with, like:
Maintaining an online presence, Reading negative comments, Seeing everyone’s triumphs posted on social media (without their struggles)
 
It’s not your fault!
Apps and games are engineered to grab as much of your attention as they can — to be addictive. Basically, it’s you vs. a whole team of designers and marketers. Ironically, some tech industry employees are speaking out against addictive app design and limiting their own phone use.
 
Look Around, Not Down
We can take back our time without giving up phones, which still provide information, communication and directions to the nearest campus building to catch the latest Stall Seat Journal. Here’s what helps us reduce screen use:
  1. Rearrange the home screen. Prioritize apps that facilitate human contact, like messaging and phone or video calls. Turn off all other notifications if possible. Hide games and social media in a folder on another page to eliminate mindless use.
  2. Set a time to not use screens for anything but work or direct communication. Challenge friends to do the same. Or, take a phone-free walk! Being present outdoors improves stress relief, focus and creativity. 
  3. Keep devices far away (and silenced) when you need to focus. In one study, subjects did worse on brain-powered tasks when their phones were next to them, despite being turned off. 
  4. Get the real picture. Apps like Moment and QualityTime track your phone time each day. Most people underestimate their use by 100%, so if you think you spend 2 hours a day, it’s likely closer to 4. (For computers, try RescueTime.)
  5. Non-judgmentally notice your feelings while using your phone. Is it what you want to be doing? Lots of people find they’re avoiding important tasks, and aren’t even having much fun.
  6. In-person interaction is one of the best ways to boost positive emotion. 35% of people who check phones “constantly” say they spend less time with friends and family because of it. Next time you’re texting a friend, try asking, “Hey, can we meet for dinner?”
  7. Avoid screens an hour before bed. The light they emit and brainpower they demand isn’t very restful. Read a book, take a bath, listen to music, meditate or do something else relaxing!
  8. Ask yourself what’s important. If you won an award, what would you want it to be for? List your values and goals, and ask if phone use helps or hurts them. Less time on screens can mean more to spend where it really counts.
COBE Corner:
  • Learn about mindfulness while enjoying a smoothie from Ellwood Thompson’s at COBE Connect. 12 p.m. on May 1 at the Institute for Contemporary Art. Students and staff are welcome!
  • Join us April 17-19 for Research to Recovery: three days of fascinating talks on substance use and mental health in young people. Only $10 for students! Register at cobe.vcu.edu.
  • COBE brings Spit for Science research to the public. Visit us at cobe.vcu.edu or VCU COBE on Facebook.

Sources: 

Shroder, Nina (2018). “Reboot: Examining Emotional Resilience in the Digital Age.” Classroom Presentation.

twin-cities.umn.edu/612-625-5000; PLOS ONE, December 2012, Volume 7, Issue 12 e51474; mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/well/2015/07/22/how-nature-changes-the-brain/?referer= 

JACR, volume 2, number 2. Published online April 3, 2017. dx.doi.org/10.1086/691462

sleepfoundation.org/ask-the-expert/electronics-the-bedroom/page/0/1

nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/silicon-valley-faces-make-or-break-moment-amid-big-tech-n847301

April 2018 Supporting Survivors Edition of the Stall Seat Journal on Sexual Assault Awareness Month events, ways to support individuals who disclose sexual violence, and the internet and pornography

Supporting Survivors
Pick up a teal ribbon at The Well this month to show support for survivors of sexual assault.
 
My friend was sexually assaulted. What do I say?
  • Say SOMETHING! It’s natural to feel afraid of saying the wrong thing, but silence can look like indifference.
  • Thank you for trusting me.
  • I believe you. (Not “I believe you, but...”)
  • This isn’t your fault.
Help Make VCU Safer
Most Rams have been impacted by sexual violence, either by experiencing it themselves or by knowing someone who has. Students are way more likely to seek help from a friend first. Your support can make all the difference.
  • Listen. It’s not on you to fix it. Being a friend often means simply being there.
  • Believe. Trust your friend. You don’t need to be an expert or investigator.
  • Refer. To learn more, visit thewell.vcu.edu/advocacy-services.
  • Respect. Keep it confidential and remember healing has no set timeline and looks different for everyone.
  • Educate. Learn about the real impact of sexual violence on our community.
An ImPORNtant Message
Today we’re all a click away from free porn. Many who grew up watching it now advocate turning it off. Why?
  • Some disliked the anger and violence it brought into their lives. 90% of porn scenes contain at least one aggressive act. The human drive for novelty tends to lead users to search out increasingly violent and graphic selections.
  • Some quit because of human trafficking and social justice abuses by the industry. 
  • Others were bothered by compulsive use and felt it increased performance anxiety and decreased their ability to have fulfilling sexual relationships IRL. More and more porn users are experiencing sexual challenges.
  • Quitting can be hard, but communities like reddit.com/r/pornfree can help. Check out fightthenewdrug.org for more info. Quitting porn can be one of the most sex positive things people do.
 
 
MENtal Health Panel
Male identified Rams speak on their struggles with and solutions to mental health issues. All are welcome! April 10 at 5 p.m. in University Student Commons Theater. Presented by Active Minds at VCU and The Well.
 
Freshman 18+ and past participants: You can still follow-up with Spit for Science! Don’t forget to take your Spit for Science survey. The survey is optional and all data are confidential. Learn more: spit4science.vcu.edu. COBE brings Spit for Science research to the public. Visit cobe.vcu.edu or follow VCU COBE on Facebook.

Don't have time to read the Stall Seat Journal? Check out the Stall Seat Quicky brought to you by Malcolm from The Well! For more videos and updates, head to The Well's YouTube Channel


Have you ever wished you could have your very own Stall Seat Journal to decorate your space?

No need to try and find a way to sneak it out of the stalls! Follow our social media for details on Stall Seat Journal give-aways and how you can snag your favorite edition!

Check out how one student has used their favorite Stall Seats to decorate their new living space! The picture below was submitted by a student fan of the Stall Seat who papered the wall in their residence with their favorite versions. 

One student loves the Stall Seat Journal so much they decorated a wall in their new living space with past editions.

 


View past editions of the Stall Seat Journal by choosing the school year below.