Courtesy of Edward Monsibaiz/The Paisano

A healthy relationship can uplift and empower students to achieve their academic goals. In light of Valentine’s day, students should make the distinction between how their love-life can help their pursuits. For those very reasons UTSA cares about students relationships.

There are a range of tips and tricks available in relationship advice pieces. The Paisano has featured relationship advice columns and Her Campus at Cornell University, a publication which included contributions from UTSA students, offer university-centric advice pieces as well.

Putting advice aside, it’s important to note students aren’t the only people considering how student’s relationships will affect their studies. Universities have concerns for student quality of life and the relationships that they build. When it comes down to it, UTSA must sustain their budgets. Retaining students is a way to do so.

Retention is a challenge UTSA faces. It has one of the lowest retention rates in the UT System. Many factors contribute to the challenge but student relationships, whether intimate or friendly, are one indicator of how likely a student is to stay on campus.

Vincent Tinto’s Interactionalist Theory of college student departure has been described as the standard among theoretical views on college student attrition and retention. Tinto explained that when students have insufficient interactions with others in college and their goals and values are not aligned with those of the college, students are more likely to leave the school.

The theory covers more than intimate relationships, but it is certainly applicable. If one floats through college alone they are less likely to remain on campus. Conversely, if one’s partner’s goals and values don’t align with a student’s academic pursuit, the student’s participation at their university may falter. A relationship isn’t the answer to retention, but a healthy relationship may be.

Can UTSA help facilitate healthy relationships? Perhaps. Some universities have large green spaces that welcome picnics and public studying, such as “the yard” at Howard University. UTSA incorporates date-friendly programs students may use to enjoy a night out on the school’s tab, such as UCinema nights listed on the UTSA Calendar. The future may have more in store. Imagine a university-ran Tinder where in order to join a student must be in good academic standing, would it work?

Ultimately, fostering and maintaining a healthy relationship is a student’s responsibility, but many are invested in the student’s relationship decisions. Take care of yourself, your university is rooting for you.

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