University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus a national leader in student health


When it comes to looking out for its students, the University of Minnesota is practically in the Ivy League.

Letting students have pet therapy animals to relieve stress is just one the reasons the U has been recognized with the likes of Cornell University as having one of the country's "healthiest campuses."

Nonprofit Active Minds on Tuesday announced its 2015 Healthy Campus Award, which recognizes colleges and universities that develop innovative ways to provide for their students' physical and mental well-being – and inspire others to do likewise.

The five recipients are the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Cornell University, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, University of Texas, Austin and Western Washington University, according to a press release.

The nonprofit's award is described as a "new annual recognition."

Active Minds says the U of M was judged using eight criteria, including giving students a voice in matters of physical and mental health on campus, and "creating equal opportunities" for the wellbeing of all students.

Case in point: one of the innovations the group applauded was the addition of transgender services to the school's Student Health Benefit program, and other "ongoing work for inclusivity."

The university also got high marks for providing a number of other resources, including a 24-hour campus crisis line as well as a 24-hour "text counseling service" for freshmen.

And, of course, Pet Away Worry and Stress (PAWS), which allows students to interact with dogs, cats, rabbits and even a chicken named Woodstock every Wednesday for free.

“The University of Minnesota’s efforts are a model for campuses nationwide and demonstrate what is possible when students, staff, faculty and administrators from across an entire university work together so that every student has the opportunity to thrive,” said Active Minds VP of Student Health and Wellness Sara Abelson.

Next Up

police lights

Police: 3 Minnesotans made fake report to divert SD police away drug investigation

Three people from Detroit Lakes are facing charges, with two of the men involved accused of making a false report of gunmen entering a local business.

covid-19, coronavirus

HealthPartners opens drive-up COVID vaccine site

The healthcare provider says it's the first drive-up vaccination site in the state.

derek chauvin

Appeals court: Judge must reconsider third-degree murder charge against Chauvin

The appeals court's recent decision on a different officer-involved shooting case is precedent, it said.

covid-19, vaccine

New data reveals Minnesotans getting COVID vaccines are disproportionately white

The Minnesota Department of Health revealed race and ethnicity vaccine data on Friday.

Bryan Ellinger

Charges: Trail of Terror supervisor sexually assaulted 3 teenage employees

Bryan Ellinger was arrested in January accused of raping a 15-year-old employee. Two more women have come forward accusing him of sexually assaulted them as teens.

Screen Shot 2021-03-05 at 8.52.53 AM

Donations flood in for N. Minneapolis teen who penned Star Tribune column

Marcus Hunter gained recognition for writing about his experience as a Black teen in North Minneapolis following the police killing of George Floyd.

Screen Shot 2021-03-05 at 7.49.11 AM

Fatal crash victim identified as newlywed from Buffalo

Whitney Nelson died after a two-vehicle crash near Glencoe Tuesday.

vaccine, covid

Roy Wilkins Auditorium to become MN's 5th large-scale vaccination site

Gov. Tim Walz is holding a media call Friday amid the release of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.


Police searching for driver after fatal hit-and-run in Minneapolis

Police say the driver of a cream or white SUV hit a man in the road and then fled.

bloomington police incident

Standoff in Bloomington ends, 2 suspects in custody

Portions of Lyndale Avenue and American Boulevard were closed for hours Friday morning.