Campus briefs


Michigan Medicine offering gun locks, education resources to those in crisis

A new effort to reduce the risk of firearm injury by offering free gun locks and educational resources to people receiving care for a mental health crisis is under way at Michigan Medicine. Initially, the effort focuses on patients at the University of Michigan Health psychiatric emergency department, and their accompanying loved ones, who can now take home free gun locks to safeguard firearms in their homes, and educational materials about safe storage. The U-M care team recently enhanced efforts to ask all psychiatric emergency patients, or their parents or guardians of patients under age 18, about the presence of firearms in their homes and how those firearms and ammunition are stored. Even if a patient or family doesn’t need a gun lock or declines the offer, psychiatric emergency staff are providing information about the benefits of safe storage practices. Read more about this effort.

Google preparing to deactivate classic Google Sites this summer

Google will turn off the ability to edit classic Google Sites on June 1 and will begin deactivating those sites July 1. Information and Technology Services recommends faculty, staff and students who own classic Sites convert them to new Google Sites as soon as possible to avoid possible data loss. Google announced its plans to retire classic Google Sites in August 2020. Google Sites are a free and easy way to create public-facing websites without having programming experience or knowledge of code. After switching to the new version of Google Sites, site owners will have access to more modern website features and be able to adjust their sites to the best user-friendly layout for a computer, phone or tablet. Google Sites are part of the U-M Google Workspace suite of apps, which can be used by all active faculty, staff, students, retirees and alumni. For more information, visit the Google Sites page on the ITS website.

Library taking steps to remediate harmful metadata language

The U-M Library, William L. Clements Library and Bentley Historical Library are working to remediate the harmful language in the library item’s metadata, such as the publication date, subject heading, distributor, and other information. Ensuring that such descriptions are accurate and as free from biased and harmful language as possible is essential and also a challenge, given that so much legacy library metadata was created by people with inherent and unacknowledged biases. This information is in the libraries’ shared catalog, and the collection guides, finding aids and other resources maintained by the libraries that people use to discover and learn about the materials in their collections. Libraries rely upon the subject headings created by the Library of Congress and can’t independently replace or update them. But they can advocate for change at the national level, and work to mitigate and remediate harmful language in the metadata they create for their local and unique holdings. Read more about this effort.

Beneficiaries, registration info announced for 2022 Big House 5K

The athletic department has announced the six charitable beneficiaries and registration information for the ninth annual Big House 5K. The 2022 race will include both live/in-person and virtual race options over the weekend of April 8-10. Each race registration will include a tech T-shirt and race medal and will provide a minimum $12 donation to the race charity partners. In 2021, more than 3,500 virtual race participants provided a total of $71,000 to that year’s Big House 5K beneficiaries. The 2022 race also marks a milestone as organizers strive to surpass $1 million raised historically for the nonprofit beneficiaries since the inception of the Big House 5K in 2014. The 2022 beneficiaries are: Fostering Futures, Hire MI Vet, Legacy Land Conservancy, Non-profit Enterprise at Work, Riverside Arts Center, and The Women’s Center of Southeast Michigan. Registration is open to all ages. Live race pricing ranges from $27-$47, depending when one registers, and virtual race pricing is $37. Read more about the event and how to register.

High-need older adults in stepfamilies less likely to receive help from children

As people age and require more care, their partners or adult children are often their front line of caretakers. But as divorce has become more common among older adults, U-M researchers sought to understand the role of stepchildren in providing care for their aging stepparents. The researchers, led by family demographer Sarah Patterson, found what they refer to as a “step gap” — that is, older adults in need of care with only biological children are more than twice as likely to be cared for by their adult children than older adults with any stepchildren. But they also found the same high rate of unmet needs — about 50 percent — among those with only biological and any stepchildren. Unmet needs include having to go without showering or getting dressed, or not getting a hot meal or clean laundry because of a lack of help, said Patterson, research investigator at the Institute for Social Research’s Survey Research Center. Their research is published in the Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences. Read more about this research.

Compiled by James Iseler and Jeff Bleiler, The University Record


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