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Harvard students: At least they have their health

A recent survey of undergraduate students reveals that students at Harvard College drink more, have less sex and are more likely to be depressed than students at other undergraduate schools. Still, students are optimistic: More than 75 percent of students described their health as excellent or very good, compared with a national average of 61 percent.

According to the survey, conducted by the American College Health Association, 39 percent of Harvard students said they had no sex partners within the past school year, compared with 29 percent of males and 27 percent of females nationwide. Five percent of Harvard men and women reported having four or more partners in the last year, compared with 11 percent of men and 5 percent of women at other undergraduate institutions.

Thirty-four percent of Harvard students reported they have been diagnosed with depression in the past year, and a similar number is in therapy or taking medication for depression. Nationally, 23 percent of undergrads reported a depression diagnosis and 19 percent are undergoing treatment.

Though many students rated themselves in excellent or very good health, 29 percent of Harvard men and 21 percent of Harvard women said they are overweight. Forty-two percent of Harvard students are exercising to lose weight, compared with 50 percent of students nationwide.

Though undergrads drink more than their peers, only 14 percent admit to injuring themselves as a result of drinking, significantly below the national rate of 17 percent. In addition, only 2 percent admit to injuring another person after drinking, while 4 percent of undergrads nationwide have done so. Eight percent of Harvard students admit to drinking and driving.

Despite these alarming statistics, Harvard students are less likely to get in fights and have smoking rates below the national average. Only 15.6 percent of Harvard undergrads say they smoke, compared with 25.3 nationally.

Based on the Harvard University Gazette story titled “Study finds Harvard students healthier than peers.”

B-School students can’t surf the Net responsibly

Across the river at the Harvard Business School, the school’s faculty voted to disable wireless network access between 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to prevent students from surfing the Web during class.

While one survey showed that 80 percent of students believed that access should at least be maintained between classes, the faculty decided to eliminate all access during the school day. According to The Harbus, the decision came two years after the school began an experiment to provide students access to the Internet and the school’s internal network. Professors became concerned, however, that students would use the connections for fun instead of paying attention during class.

The Law School disabled network access during class soon after classrooms were wired a few years ago after professors complained that students were using the Internet during class.

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