What to do if…?

Jess Hodge

As another school year starts, new and different classes, professors, housing, meal plans and struggles all accompany it. Trying to adjust to all of the changes is stressful and can be equally as terrifying.

Whether this is your first, fourth or even fifth year at Grand Valley State University, living in a constantly changing environment can make it difficult to handle new situations. Luckily, GVSU provides a variety of resources and help for any situation that you might find yourself in.

Here are a few guidelines to some tough situations you might find yourself in sometime this year.

What to do if…you’re failing a class?

It’s a more common problem than people think, so don’t feel bad about it. The best thing to do is go talk to your professor about it. Chances are that they will have an idea on how to get you back on track to passing the class. Don’t wait until last minute, otherwise it’ll be hard to get your grade back up in a limited amount of time.

What to do if… you hate your roommate?

Having to come back to your dorm or apartment to a roommate that you hate can make the entire year miserable. If you live in a dorm, your best option is to talk to your RA. They go through hours of training on how to help you in situations like this. They will be able to help.

What to do if… you’re being harassed and/or bullied?

Yes, bullying still happens in college. As unfortunate as this is, GVSU equips its staff to further prevent the bullying as much as they can. If you or someone you know is being harassed because of your race, gender, religion, age, weight, or any other reason, call the Dean of Students office, GVPD, or you can submit a bias incident report online if you feel uncomfortable doing it over the phone at: www.gvsu.edu/inclusion/bias-incidents. The report is designed to help students who feel threatened or unsafe at GVSU. The university takes these reports very seriously.

What to do if… you’re in danger/lost on campus?

“Call 911 if you ever think you’re in danger,” GVPD Capt. Brandon DeHaan said. DeHaan also stressed the importance of the app RAVE Guardian, which is available for both Apple and Android phones.

“The RAVE Guardian is an app that can keep an eye on you when you need it,” DeHaan said. “There is an electronic escort that can make sure you get to your location safely.”

RAVE Guardian, which rolled out in the fall of 2014 is specifically made for GVSU. It is designed to help escort students home safely and stay in contact with the Grand Valley Police Department (GVPD).

“When you first get the app, you set up your user information,” DeHaan said. “If you ever call 911, any information that you put in, such as medical conditions, will pop up to the dispatcher.”

If you have a non-emergency problem, call the GVPD and they will be able to further assist you.

What to do if… you think you’re pregnant?

Being pregnant while in college can be a scary thought for many people. If you have any suspicions that you may be pregnant, heading over to the Women’s Center is your best option. They will help you figure out a plan to getting medically tested and then what happens after that. The Women’s Center is trained to provide excellent guidance and options for students.

What to do if… you’re questioning your sexuality?

College is the time to find out what your true passions in life are and to really experiment with many different things as to find one you like the best. This experimentation includes sexuality. GVSU offers many options for you if you find yourself in this confusing situation. The Women’s Center and the Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center can offer acceptance and guidance for you. They can also lend a listening ear to the frustrations that can accompany this. GVSU’s Counseling Center can also provide you with advice and either one-on-one or group counseling.

What to do if… you’re feeling depressed?

Talk to someone at the Counseling Center right away. Feelings of depression or suicide are serious and the counselors are there to assist you in any way possible. If it is after business hours, call the suicide hotline. They are always willing to listen and talk you through difficult situations.

Dean of Students: (616) 331-3585

GVPD (Allendale): (616) 331-3255

Pew Campus Security: (616) 331-6677

Women’s Center: (616) 331-2748

Counseling Center: (616) 331-3266

LGBT Resource Center: (616) 331-2530

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255