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Traditions: Take Care DePaul

Take care of yourself. Take care of each other. Take care DePaul. You’ve probably heard this around campus, but what exactly does it mean? Take Care DePaul is a university public health message that encourages the community to reflect on decisions regarding both personal well being and others’ well being to create a safe and healthy campus together.

“Take Care DePaul is the powerful idea that you should respect your own human dignity because you, and the choices you make, matter, other people matter, and we should matter to each other,” Shannon Suffoletto, director of the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness (HPW), says. The message came into being about five years ago in the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness, and expresses the culture of health and wellness now, as well as encourages like-minded behavior in the future.

Since then, Take Care DePaul has received positive feedback and has spread throughout the university. Partnerships with organizations like the Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center bring attention to the message, and HPW also holds Bystander Intervention Training workshops throughout the year with student-athletes, fraternities and sororities and student organizations to educate students on actions that align with the message. The workshops are delivered upon request​ to any student group at DePaul.

At an institutional level, Take Care DePaul is embedded into new faculty and staff orientations, as well as first year student and family orientations. Blue Demon Duty, DePaul’s Good Samaritan policy, also reinforces Take Care DePaul behavior by asking students to be active bystanders and report health or safety emergencies in risky situations. The Blue Demon Duty also ensures that students who report in good-faith a violation of another university policy will not generally be subject to sanctions through the Student Conduct Process related to conduct that is revealed in the course of making the report.

HPW hopes to expand its partnerships and get faculty and staff involved in spreading the message more intentionally, particularly through integration in Human Resources programs. In the meantime, Suffoletto suggests that faculty and staff learn what the message means, then think about ways the message can be applied to behaviors in and out of the classroom. “How are you encouraging students to take care of themselves and others? Say the message out loud, and take ownership of that in your classroom or department,” Suffolletto says.

Take Care DePaul is active on social media under the hashtag #TakeCareDePaul. If faculty, staff, departments or organizations would like to have HPW speak about Take Care DePaul or another health and wellness topic, email HPW.