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Re: [IP] College Students (long reply)
>I am looking at starting a Diabetes Interest Group on campus at our student
First of all I want to stress how much I love your idea. There was not any
kind of support at my college, and I was having many problems at the time-
some of which could have been at least lessened to a degree had there been
more/better help available.
-You said you contacted an ADA rep, how about JDF?
-If there is a medical school associated with your college, and close by,
why not have some of the students meet with your support group? A way for
future docs to be educated by the only true experts on dm, and not just the
clinical side. The problem with this is they may not have the time.
-Sidewalk chalking the night before the day of the meeting (or 2 days
before- but not too early for fear of rain) was always one of our most
successful means of advertising meetings. I was head of publicity for 3
organizations, and found that most students don't pay attention to newspaper
ads, though we still used them. Brightly colored fliers placed around dorms
and in bulidings where classes are held, and also chalking on the sidewalks
around dorms and on the way to classes were the most sucessful. Also, you
would have to as for permission from the food services people, but you could
put things on the cafeteria tables. Something small but eye-catching, like
you would see on the table at a restaurant advertising their latest
-Have you thought about contacting a dietician and having them available to
meet one on one with student, or come to meetings to speak? Possibly have
them make up a booklet for students- best dorm food for a diabetic...sure
they eat in the cafeteria, but they snack too, and some weeks the meal plans
run out and you have to eat a meal or 2 in your room. Spagettios and
cheetos is what I usually ended up with, but I'm sure a dietician could
suggest something much better. Most kids have a microwave, a few have
refridgerators, but most of their food needs to be shelved. I also had a
big problem getting nutrition info for cafeteria food. If this is not
already available, get with the food services staff and try to get them to
post it with the weekly menu for all students (that could be a project
undertaken by all the student in your group).
-Have you thought about a website? Most colleges offer free web space to
students and faculty. You could have your members put it together
eventually. You would have to apply for the space, and perhaps do an
initial page (simple, just something that says this is who we are and what
we do), then let a couple of students spice it up for you.
-Get with the counseling people at your school, and get them educated on
diabetes if they aren't already. I went to see a counselor for depression
and anxiety problems, and they didn't have anyone there with good dm
knowledge. Perhaps get them to meet with shrinks outside the school who
work with dm patients, or have them meet with endo's or CDE's. It is
extremely frustrating when the only help available to you doesn't know very
much about dm, and how your psychological problems relate to it. Also, have
them come to your meetings to talk about stress relief, depression symptoms,
etc. A counselor came to one of my sorority meetings, and talked about that
kind of stuff, and gave us a self-test for symptoms of depression, which is
what made me finally make an appointment.
> Timing...I have to just pick something to start..later student schedules
>will decide meeting times. Would late afternoon, like 5-6 be a time that
>most would be able to make?
Most students are eating dinner around that time. Earlier in the afternoon,
say 4:00, or later around 7 or 8 pm. Try one time for the first couple of
meetings, and have the students let you know the best times for them. Or
alternate 2 different times so that students with things in the evening can
make an earlier meetins, or students with classes in the later afternoon can
make an evening meeting.
That's all I can think of, but if I come up with more I'll let you know.
Good luck with everything!!
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