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Eating Disorder Protocol

The Union College Wellness Center has coordinated services to provide a team approach when caring for students dealing with anorexia, bulimia, or other eating disorders. A multidisciplinary team approach is used as this is considered best practice for treatment of eating-related concerns on college and university campuses. The team consists of representatives from the fields of medicine, psychology, nutrition, and athletics who work collaboratively with the student toward stated goals. 

Team Membership

  • Mental Health Representative
  • Health Center Representative
  • Dietician
  • When applicable: Eating Disorder Physician

The three core members meet on a regular basis during the term.

The Treatment Team’s Approach towards Recovery

The multidisciplinary team approach involve the student attending counseling sessions (individual and group appointments as available and appropriate), as well as nutritional and medical appointments The student is responsible for scheduling and attending these appointments It is also necessary for the student to sign consent forms allowing the Team to contact parents/guardians if: (i) the student’s health and well-being are in jeopardy: (ii) the student fails to attend appointments and/or follow the treatment plan; or (iii) The students is unresponsive when the Treatment team tries to contact him/her.

Elements of the Individual Assessment and Treatment Plan

  • Weight: A safe body weight will be maintained. Goal is to maintain a BMI (body mass index) greater than or equal to 18 and not fall below 85% of Ideal Body Weight. The student understands that he/she needs to achieve the weight goals set by the team. Weights will be monitored at the Wellness Center as determined by the team. 
  • Vital Signs/Labs:  Monitoring of vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, and body temperature) as well as drawing labs for electrolytes and other values will be performed on the recommendations of the team. Abnormalities in vital signs including low blood pressure, low pulse, and low body temperature as well as laboratory abnormalities will be assessed along with weight to determine medical stability.
  • Exercise: The student understands the necessity of adhering to any limitations or restrictions placed on his/her level of physical activity/exercise. If a member of an athletic team or club sport, he/she understands she may be excluded from participation on the team.
  • Nutritional Counseling:  Attendance at nutritional counseling sessions and adherence to the meal plan prescribed by the dietician is an essential component of treatment.
  • Psychological Care:  The student is expected to schedule and attend counseling sessions as recommended by his/her counselor. 

Identification and Referral

Any student concerned about his/her own eating patterns, weight or related issues can consult with the Treatment Team by initiating contact with the Wellness Center.

If someone from the campus community notifies the Wellness Center of a legitimate concern for a student’s health and safety, the Director of Student Health or Counseling will notify the student. The student will then be asked to schedule an appointment for an evaluation by a member of the Treatment Team.


Administrative Consultation and Review

The first priority is the student’s well-being. The first priority for anyone at the College is the student’s well-being and keeping the student enrolled, if appropriate.  In the instance where a student is: (i) disruptive to the community, (ii) continuing to evidence self-harming behaviors, and/or (ii) disruptive to the violations of the College Conduct Policy, the Dean of Students may make decisions about the student’s eligibility for continued enrollment and may pursue a medical leave of absence or interim suspension in accordance with policies contained in the Student Handbook.  The Dean of Students or designee may also , (a) refer  the student to the Treatment Team; (b) make a student’s enrollment contingent on following the recommendations of the Treatment Team, if the student continues to be at risk to self; (c) make decisions if the student has not scheduled an appointment, as described above, in a reasonable time period, or (d) pursue other appropriate remedies.

Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act Report

In accordance with the requirements of the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act, Union College prepares an annual report on its intercollegiate men’s and women’s athletic program participation rates and financial support data.  The report is on file with, and may be obtained by any student, prospective student, or member of the public from, the Office of the Athletic Director.

Please also see the Union Athletics Department Compliance Website (Compliance Resources-EADA Report):