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Student Basic Needs Guide

A comprehensive collection of the food, housing, and miscellaneous resources available on and off campus.

Welcome to the Student Basic Needs Guide

Introduction to the Basic Need Services Guide

Purpose and Introduction

This guide was created in response to the rising rates of food and housing insecurity across college campuses with the purpose of making essential services accessible to students. UTK's campus has an abundance of resources, each with their own unique webpage and services offered to the campus community.

The Basic Needs Guide is a centralized page for students to learn about...

  • organizations on and off campus, 
  • the services they provide,
  • how to access those services,
  • contact information so students can get connected easily

To supplement UTK's on campus resources, off-campus resources in Knoxville are included for those who do not live on campus or need a service that is not available on campus.

This guide is not an exhaustive list of every service available in Knoxville, so if you would like to see an organization that provides a service added please contact us!

person sitting at a desk with a notebook

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow's "A Theory of Human Motivation," more commonly referred to as the Hierarchy of Basic Needs, begins with the physiological needs at the base of the hierarchy.

Physiological needs include... 

  • food
  • water 
  • shelter
  • rest

An individual cannot ascend to the next level of needs in the hierarchy without first meeting their physiological needs because their physiological needs demand all of their focus, making their other needs non-existent or forcing them into the background (Maslow).

Basic Needs and Academic Success

When physiological needs are not being met, students face additional barriers in completing their degrees. Students attending class sleep deprived or hungry have a reduced ability to focus and absorb class material properly. Safety, psychological, and self-fulfillment needs can only be addressed once physiological needs are met.

Self-actualization is at the top of the hierarchy and is an important component of an enriched life. Self-actualization includes achieving one's full potential and creative endeavors such as painting or writing poetry. In order for students to reach their full potential, it is imperative that we secure all of the needs in Maslow's Hierarchy and allow them to flourish and succeed.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, full text transcript below image

(Simple Psychology)

Self-fulfillment needs

  • Self-actualization: 
    • achieving one's full potential, including creative activities

Psychological needs

  • Esteem needs:
    • prestige and feeling of accomplishment
  • Belongingness and love needs:
    • intimate relationships, friends

Basic Needs

  • Safety needs: 
    • security, safety
  • physiological needs
    • food, water, warmth, rest