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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

#U(HAVE)ACCESS Campaign

In today’s society, a good number of youth have dreams of being accepted to and attending college in pursuit of a higher education. Over the years, it has become a fact that many students who come to college face many academic and non-academic barriers during their academic journey at the college level.
Many years ago, academic-related barriers that students faced were of the most concern, but now many colleges and universities are giving the proper care and attention to nonacademic-related barriers, because for many students they are the cause of their academic struggles. The University of Massachusetts Boston is one of those universities who have acknowledged the true weight that nonacademic barriers can have on a student’s academic potential and success.
The university’s efforts consist of making services available to help students tackle those barriers and ultimately increase their overall success. Although these non-academic related services are made available, it’s unfortunate, but true, that a majority of the students on the campus have no idea what they have access to. All they know is that they have access to a college education; but there’s so much more to it. There are so many beneficial resources that students have access to beyond academic-related resources.
That’s why we, the students of Critical Reading and Writing 112: Section 8, created the campaign ‘#U(HAVE)ACCESS’. We are organized and run by 26 active members consisting of 24 UMass Boston students and two staff members (instructor and peer mentor). Our overall goal is to raise social awareness to help fight the stigma against hunger and homelessness on our UMass Boston Campus, and to help introduce the UMass Boston student community to the benefits of engaging with on campus non-academic resources such as U-ACCESS, University Health Services Counseling, University Health Services Wellness Program, the Interfaith Campus Ministry, and more. Prior to our efforts of organizing and running the campaign, we as members were among the large number of students who didn’t know about the many nonacademic resources that the university has to offer, but the process of organizing the campaign has given each of us the chance to learn so much more about each of these departments on campus and what services they have to offer UMass Boston students.
This was accomplished by making connections with each department we promote, and informing ourselves of the struggles that students face, and the resources offered by each department to assist students. For example: each member of our campaign was officially educated and trained by the office of U-ACCESS on food/housing insecurity on college campuses.
We decided to create the #U(HAVE)ACCESS Campaign because we acknowledge the impact that non-academic barriers can have on a student’s potential and success, but also that, While many colleges and universities have made resources available, in some cases students still may not be informed of the resources available to them. Our campaign is peer-to-peer which is one of the most successful ways to disperse information. We chose the name #U(HAVE)ACCESS as it speaks to one of our goals of keeping UMass Boston students informed. Unfortunately, many students face major issues such as hunger, homelessness, struggles with mental health, chronic poverty, etc., but we don’t want UMass Boston students to feel ashamed; we want them to be informed so that if they, or anyone they may know in our UMass Boston community, is facing any of these issues they know what resources they have access to. As a majority, we all came to the united conclusion that none of us enjoy seeing a friend or fellow classmate’s education put on pause or come to an end because of factors such as hunger or homelessness, which is why we created this campaign.
We plan to strongly emphasize the fact that failure in courses isn’t necessarily caused by only academic factors but also mental, social, and many more non-academic factors.
One of the many departments we as a campaign promote is U-ACCESS. Many students are not familiar with this department but their main goal is to support students’ academic success without being set back by nonacademic issues in their lives. Another one of the departments is the University Health Services, which oversees both the Counseling Center as well as the Wellness Program. The counseling center consists of a group of social workers, psychologists, and health educators who ensure that all UMass Boston students have access to good mental health and wellness care. Lastly, we promote the Interfaith Campus Ministry, which offers spiritual guidance and pastoral care to the UMass Boston community. With the aid of tabling on select days, our use of social media, and many more strategies of outreach, we hope we have an impact on people’s lives at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Information Table Locations:
* Campus Center 1st Floor Terrace
* Campus Center 2nd Floor Catwalk
* University Hall 1st Floor
* McCormack Hall 2nd Floor Catwalk
Social Media:
Instagram: Follow our campaign on Instagram by searching ‘UMBHAVEACCESS’
Ultimately, we are hoping that, as a result of all of our outreach, we are able to send a clear message to our followers and the UMass Boston community; that UMass Boston provides resources to help them overcome not only their academic related barriers but their nonacademic barriers as well. We want to emphasize the word community and help build a strong student-to-student relationship with the students that are a part of our campaign and the students that we interact with during our outreach efforts. Overall, in connection with our campaign name, we want UMass Boston students to know that when they are dealing with nonacademic barriers, just as they deal with academic barriers, they have access to beneficial resources to help them overcome those barriers.