BY SAMANTHA MCCOY-CONTRIBUTING WRITER
A new club on campus aims to bring awareness to the importance of students’ physical, mental and emotional health.
The Health Center is in the process of organizing the Student Wellness Club to aid students in maintaining a healthy lifestyle while at school.
The club had its first meeting on Sept. 7 to elect officials and discuss plans for the year. Health Center Director Margaret Briskey will be adviser to the club.
“I’m very excited and thrilled,” Briskey said. “This was initiated because we saw so many needs on campus. With this group, we can get the energy around the students. Initiating wellness at the young ages of eighteen and nineteen can carry into the rest of life.”
Promotions and campaigns have already been launched by the Health Center in order to boost awareness, including the “Walk This Way” and “SU Moves” poster campaigns. “We’re focusing on the little changes,” senior Shannon Slaff said. “[We’re] giving tiny steps to change to healthy habits that don’t involve heavy work.”
According to a pamphlet handed out at the first meeting, there will be a new special focus emphasized by the club each month, starting with “The Value of Sleep and Relaxation” for September.
Junior Andrew Muckin was elected as the club’s president during the meeting.
“I think, as a whole, we don’t have a solid wellness group on campus where students can get involved,” Muckin said. “Giving that is our goal. There was a group last year that wasn’t an official club, which helped promote the Health Center. Now we’ve decided to make it official and receive funding.”
October’s focus is “Alcohol Awareness” and will feature Lifestyle Management Coach Cheryl Davis as a guest speaker, according to an outline of the presentation, which will be called “A Toolkit for Living Fit.”
Davis will discuss the contributions fitness has to overall health, the best resources available for staying fit, a planning session to incorporate fitness into students’ lives and an interactive workout session designed to teach students some movements they can fit into their schedules.
Ongoing activities throughout the year will include a book display in the library, fitness classes every Wednesday, Weight Watcher sessions, visits to Perspectives classes throughout the semester and other events, according to the group’s pamphlet.
“We’re trying to provide students with opportunities to become healthier in every physical, mental and emotional way,” senior Corey Litton said.
Junior Andrea Mobley said that the club is “a good way for people to learn the steps to get healthy without feeling intimidated.”
“Wellness is not the absence of illness,” Briskey said. “Campus wellness cannot be treated as a Band-Aid, and you definitely won’t be able to find it in a fitness app. Engagement, motivation, support and strategy are the keys to a successful program. If faculty, staff and students are not involved in the solution, it will be difficult to succeed. Preventable wellness is a complete lifestyle and behavior change, and change takes time and commitment.”
The Student Wellness Club will meet Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. in the Health Center, and meetings will occur biweekly on Mondays with the exception of scheduled special events throughout the year.