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Hundreds of students gather at Mind Matters Town Hall to promote well-being

November 13, 2015

Students take part in exercises involving civic learning and problem solving

More than 450 students descended on the Golden Eagle Ballroom Friday for a Mind Matters Town Hall that focused on mental well-being at Cal State LA.

The freshman students, who are enrolled in 16 Introduction to Higher Education classes, met with administrators and staff to take part in discussions, problem-solving drills and civic-learning exercises. The students participated in groups to develop action plans for programs and initiatives to promote mental well-being at the University.

The event was part of President William A. Covino’s and First Lady Debbie Covino’s Mind Matters initiative, which provides resources and programs to help students navigate the demands of academic excellence, family responsibilities, and jobs.

The President and First Lady attended the town hall, where they met with students who presented proposals ranging from organizing a University-wide wellness week to creating a drop-in center where students could relieve stress by relaxing on bean bags, eating healthy snacks and listening to music.

“Ensuring well-being is the responsibility of everyone at Cal State LA,” President Covino told the students. “That’s why this town hall is so important.”

The forum ended with the selection of four group semi-finalists who presented their action plans to the entire town hall. A top team for the day was selected. The four semi-finalists will also have the opportunity to continue to work on their action plans during winter quarter and submit them for funding to be implemented in spring quarter.

This town hall was intended to complement the civic-learning research these students are carrying out in their Introduction to Higher Education classes. Student forums are a proven practice that can contribute to student success and degree completion. This town hall is being piloted for the General Education Civic Learning requirement that will begin in Fall Semester 2016.

The town hall was sponsored by the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good, the Office of Undergraduate Studies and the First Year Experience program.

Photo: Students developed action plans that were displayed on posters during the Mind Matters Town Hall. (Credit: J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)

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Cal State LA is a university dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 27,000 students and 240,000 distinguished alumni, who are as diverse as the city we serve. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Cal State LA has long been recognized as an engine of economic and social mobility. Led by an award-winning faculty, the University offers nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and the humanities.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex, TV, Film and Media Center and the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good. For more information, visit