Environmental management is grounded in the social ecological model of public health, which recognizes the link between a student’s perception of the surroundings (both physical and symbolic) and the behaviors and social practices that he or she believes to be normal or expected.
Strategic planning for environmental management requires an understanding of the environmental factors that influence or enable undesired student behavior. That understanding informs the plan of evidence-based strategies that address and change these factors. Evidence-based strategies include policies, enforcement and adjudication, changes to physical settings, and revisions of practices. Changing a college environment is a slow and steady process that needs a good long-term strategic plan and the involvement both of stakeholders who contribute to or maintain the current environment and of those who are affected by it.