Campus Health and Wellness

Published May 6, 2016

The University at Buffalo takes very seriously its commitment to provide a safe and healthy environment for all members of its campus community and visitors to UB campuses. The health and well-being of students, faculty and staff is very important to the University at Buffalo, and we have a long history of providing mental health, wellness and safety education, promotion and response.  The university monitors issues affecting the health of its community carefully and takes proactive measures to ensure the safety of the UB community.  

Infectious Diseases

The university revises preparedness and response plans with the guidance of the university’s infectious disease experts and the county health department. UB Student Health Services personnel are well-versed in recommended protocols for screening, evaluation, isolation and protective procedures for infectious diseases.

The university takes very seriously its obligations and commitment to provide a safe and secure environment for all members of the campus community, as well as for visitors to UB's campuses.  UB officials, in partnership with local and state public health officials, take measures to prepare for a potential case of infectious disease locally, including:

  • Continual monitoring of CDC advisories on infectious diseases
  • Ongoing coordination with other campus groups and SUNY
  • Advising travelers traveling to and from areas of ongoing transmission of infectious diseases
  • Monitoring and evaluating returning travelers who may be at risk
  • Assessing and reinforcing infection control measures and equipment
  • Proactive planning on how to manage a potential exposures to, or a suspected case of, an infectious disease

Student Immunization and Testing Requirements

In accordance with New York State Public Health Law 2165, UB requires that all incoming degree-seeking students (undergraduate, graduate, professional) born on or after January 1, 1957 must provide proof of immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella. The state also requires that all students receive information about meningococcal disease and have made an informed decision about whether or not to receive immunization against meningococcal disease. Students accepted to health-related majors/schools have additional requirements on an annual basis.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella

Students must provide an official record of their measles, mumps, and rubella immunity before registering for classes. Records may be obtained from the student's past or current health care provider, previous school or university, public health department or government agency. Students may utilize UB's Health Background Form for compliance

Meningitis Information

Students must verify that they have received information about meningococcal disease and have made an informed decision about whether or not to receive vaccination against meningococcal disease. Students comply by reading the required information regarding meningitis, and completing the meningococcal information response form. The student is considered compliant with the requirement whether they received the vaccination or declined it.

Health-Related Profession Students

In addition to the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) and Meningitis Information requirements, Health-Related Profession students must provide documentation of:

  • Hepatitis B vaccine series 
  • Tetanus/Diphteria/Pertussis 
  • Tuberculin Skin Test (PPD) 
  • Chickenpox (Varicella) Immunity 

For each year of their academic program, Health Related Profession students must complete an immunization update – including a PPD test (or symptom review for previous positive PPD).

Health and Wellness Services and Policies

The health and well-being of students, faculty and staff is very important to the University at Buffalo, and we have a long history of providing mental health, wellness and safety promotion. The university has implemented many different strategies to keep UB community members safe while dealing with health issues or the stress of life events. The following are services and policies based on current best practices.

  • Health Services offers free clinic visits with professional nurses and doctors for all UB students. Costs for lab work and prescriptions incurred as a result of the visit are the responsibility of the student.
  • Counseling ServicesA professional, culturally competent and experienced staff of social workers, psychologists, and consulting psychiatrists provides free, confidential individual, couples, and group counseling services to all UB students year round.
  • Walk-in crisis appointments during business hours are available for students who are confronting life-threatening circumstances, current or recent traumatic experiences, and whose daily functioning has been severely disrupted by personal problems or overwhelming emotions.
  • A Counselor-On-Call is available after hours and on weekends. The counselor will call back within a half hour.
  • Wellness Education Services, strives to create a campus community comprised of balanced and whole individuals by providing theory- and research-based, student-centered health education programming to minimize or eliminate potential health risks.
  • University Police is open 24/7. They can assist in a number of ways including connecting UB community members with other UB services or with emergency services if needed.
  • SBI Safety Services, through Sub-Board I offers Walk Stations, Safety Shuttles, Health Educational Services and information on sexual abuse.
  • Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program at Erie County Medical Center is available for UB students who are feeling imminently suicidal and or fear they may harm someone else. Transportation to the emergency room can be arranged through University Police. Psychiatric evaluation and inpatient hospitalization is available to help students through the crisis and the staff will develop a continuing treatment plan with them.
  • Consultation is available for any UB staff, faculty, student, or UB parent worried about another campus member through Counseling Services.
  • Referral to professionals in the community is provided when off-campus treatment is preferred by a student or when Counseling Center Services is not able to meet treatment needs of Students.
  • On-Line Screenings for depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar disorders and alcohol misuse are available through the Counseling Services website.
  • Campus-wide trainings are offered throughout the year for UB students, faculty, and staff on suicide prevention, mental health awareness, and referral skills.
  • Posters, campus newspaper advertisements, brochures, and other promotional products throughout UB campuses provide students with information about emotional wellness and other Student Wellness Team services (Counseling Services, Wellness Education Services. Health Services).
  • Student Advocate Helpline. UB community members can call in order to be directed to the correct office for assistance if they are concerned about the safety, behavior, or emotional well-being of someone.
  • Student of Concern Committee (SOC). Composed of administrators from Student Affairs, this committee meets weekly to coordinate individualized responses to support students who are identified as struggling.
  • Mandated Assessment may be required for students who have violated the Student Code of Conduct, The Residence Hall Code of Conduct, or the NCAA alcohol and substance abuse policy. This appointment at Counseling Services aims to help the student understand what led to the event, what he or she might have done differently, and how to handle future situations more safely and effectively. This policy is not intended as a punishment for students; instead, it is intended to help students deal with the stresses of their lives and with their own emotions and to connect the student to helpful resources.
  • No Weapons Policy: The possession of firearms, ammunition, and any weapons is prohibited on the UB campus.
  • Withdrawal Policy for Medical or Other Emergencies. If a medical or mental health issue or a sudden and catastrophic incident makes it impossible for a student to complete a semester, the University at Buffalo allows students to petition for a Withdrawal. 
  • Alcohol Prevention and Response.  UB's comprehensive approach to alcohol prevention and intervention focuses on early introduction of education and skill building; as well as correcting misperceptions that many students hold about college alcohol, tobacco and other drug use to reduce the harmful consequences of alcohol and other drug use. Our goal is to support students in achieving their personal and academic potential.   UB follows and implements best practices per the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Addiction (NIAAA) and works closely with the UB Research Institute on Addictions to refine and improve intervention options and protocols. 
  • Employee Relations. The Employee Relations (ER) department provides assistance to the UB and UB Research Foundation employee community in promoting a productive and positive campus work environment. 
  • Employee Assistance Program. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides information, assessment, problem-solving and referral services for all UB faculty, staff, families and retirees on any work-life concern.  EAP services are free, voluntary and confidential.