Supporting Students

SAIC is committed to fostering a community of artists and scholars built upon respect for others and personal well-being. Staff members in the Office of Student Affairs are available to assist students with a wide-range of issues and concerns that might arise during their time at SAIC. These issues include mental and physical health challenges, conflicts with others, and community standards. These webpages are meant to be a hub for students who are seeking help with personal issues or trying to learn about resources available to them.

Staying Healthy

Incorporating healthy habits into your life now can lay the foundation for maintaining good habits throughout your artistic career. To assist in your personal health, we invite you to take advantage of the wellness opportunities offered by our office throughout the year, including petting therapy dogs and attending programs sponsored by SAIC’s Compassion and Belonging Grant. 

The following are suggestions we’ve heard from SAIC students as being the most effective at improving your overall well-being. We do not recommend tackling these all at once! Pick an area you want to focus on and work on that for a period of time. It can be hard to make multiple major life changes at once!

A student works at their desk in the dorms

Sleep Well

Our bodies wait until we’re asleep to flush out the toxins and waste our brains produce during the day. A good night's sleep leads to muscle repair, memory consolidation, and the release of hormones that regulate growth and appetite. It also means maximum alertness when working with potentially dangerous artmaking equipment.

Tips for good sleep:

Get Regular: Try to go to bed and get up around the same time each day.

Sleep when Sleepy: When you notice you’re feeling sleepy, go to bed. Don’t power through.

Get Up and Try Again: If you’re having trouble falling asleep, get out of bed, do something calming, and try again to return to bed and fall asleep.

Avoid Caffeine and Nicotine: Smoking or consuming caffeine within 4-6 hours before bed interferes with sleep.

Avoid Pre-Bed Screen Time: Using mobile devices or a laptop before bed limits your melatonin production; a crucial sleeping hormone.

Students eating and resting in the cafeteria

Eat Healthy

Good nutrition helps you stay energized (important when in a 9-4!), reduces your risk of chronic diseases (like heart disease and cancer), and promotes your overall health.

Tips for good nutrition:

Snack Responsibly: Pack healthy snacks when you go to class so you’re not tempted to grab less healthy and more expensive food on the go. Healthy snack ideas include apples and peanut butter, nuts, Greek yogurt, carrots and hummus. 

Research Fruits and Vegetables: Not all fruits and vegetables have the same nutritional value. Do your research and eat the healthiest!

Avoid Heavily Processed Food: Focus your diet on foods that have undergone the fewest chemical/mechanical changes to their original form.

Supplements are not Substitutes: Taking a multivitamin is fine, but it’s not a substitute for eating well.

Eat Whole Grains: This includes brown rice, quinoa, black beans, and 100% whole wheat bread.

Spoonful Pantry

SAIC's Spoonful Pantry is available to current SAIC students who are experiencing difficulty accessing food because of a financial emergency or ongoing constraints. Students can request a pre-packaged bag of non-perishable groceries (vegetarian and gluten free available) by completing this form.

A biker bikes down a city street.


Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength, boost endurance, and improve your cardiovascular system. It provides crucial energy for those long studio sessions.

Tips for exercising:

Create a Schedule: Plan when you want to work out and prioritize it.

Find a Fitness Buddy: Find someone who will hold you accountable and work out with you.

Download a Fitness App: Wherever you get your apps, there are a number of options that track your fitness progress.

Eat Right and Sleep Well: Your body will perform better athletically if you’re well rested and have appropriate nutrition.

SAIC students talking to each other

Connect with Others

Although we all have different needs when it comes to social connection, social isolation has been connected to a variety of physical and mental health problems.

Tips for staying connected:

Engage: Visit for a list of all the events and student organizations on campus.

Know Yourself: Spend the amount of time with others that feels right for yourself. It’s okay to take some time to yourself.

Parties or 1on1s: Some people love group gatherings. Some people love time with a close friend. Prioritize what makes you feel best.

Stay in Communication: If you feel like you need a short break from people, let your friends know what’s going on so they don’t worry.

Boxed water being given out to students at the neiman center

Drink Water

Your body is about 60% water. Drinking enough water helps with energy, kidney function, skin appearance, and digestion. It’s also cheaper (free) than processed drinks!

Tips for drinking enough water:

Keep Track: Experts recommend drinking a half-gallon per day. The closer you get to that amount, the better.

Carry a Water Bottle: Keep a water bottle with you to class and use it keep track of your intake.

Limit Sodas and Juices: You don’t need the added sugar (or cost) of processed drinks. Your body is built to drink water!

An art installation comprised of red, blue and yellow rope and black tape.

Clean Up

As an artist, it's easy to let your space become cluttered. Organizing and cleaning can do wonders for your mental health.

Tips for cleaning up:

Make a Schedule: Work with your roommates to schedule all the major cleaning tasks that need to happen and stick to it.

Let it Go: Does having a certain possession excite you? If not, it may be time to get rid of it.

Put Things Away: The floor is not "away." If something doesn’t have a spot, create one. If there is no spot, you may want to get rid of it.

Talk to Your RA: If you live in the residence halls and you’re having trouble getting on the same page as your roommates about cleanliness, ask your RA for help.

A staff member and a student talk in an office

We're Here to Help

Student Support and Conflict Resolution staff members promote student success and well-being through assisting students with a wide range of issues and promoting a healthy and respectful community. We assist students with personal concerns, implement wellness programming, help students resolve conflicts, uphold community standards, and provide support to first-generation students. 

Belonging, Together

As part of SAIC's Belonging and Compassion Grants initiative, alums and faculty created critical projects to combat loneliness and build community.

An illustration of a person on a dock looking into a body of water

Illustration by Sophie Lucido Johnson (MFA 2017)

Student Support Team

The Student Support Team is a multi-disciplinary group including representatives from Academic Advising, Residence Life, the Wellness Center, International Affairs, Korean and Chinese Student Advising, and Multicultural Affairs. Led by the Director of Student Support, these individuals meet weekly to consult, provide guidance, and offer support for students who are struggling with health or personal concerns. The purpose of the Student Support Team is to facilitate the best support possible for students in order to promote their academic, personal, and artistic well-being.

If you are looking to get in touch with the Student Support Team to seek help for yourself or another student, contact the Office of Student Affairs at 312.629.6800,, or come to OSA’s office in Sullivan Center, 36 South Wabash Avenue, room 1204. 

Erin in a black and green outfit smiling at the camera

Erin Gasim

Director of Student Support

Erin leads the Student Support Team and all non-clinical efforts to support students at SAIC. Erin helps students who are managing serious concerns and implements initiatives to promote student wellness.

Contact Us

Student Support

Sullivan Center
36 S. Wabash Ave., Suite 1204

Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.