Lawrence has taken a number of steps throughout winter term to ensure that Lawrentians are healthy in both mind and body while continuing to be successful in academics and other activities.
The most obvious change on campus was the renovation and creation of the Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center complex. The new Wellness Center now incorporates counseling services with updated equipment for the recreation center. The idea of combining physical wellness with mental and emotional well-being is central to Lawrence’s push for student wellness.
In conjunction with the opening of the Wellness Center, Lawrence has hired Erin Buenzli, current head athletic trainer, as the director of wellness. Buenzli will continue to act as head athletic trainer while transitioning into her new role until the end of this academic year, at which point she will become the full-time director of wellness.
According to Assistant Director of Counseling Services and Alcohol Education Coordinator Paul Valencic, “With the announcement of Erin Buenzli being appointed as the newly commissioned wellness director and the broadening of the purpose of the Buchanan Kiewit building to include Health Services and Counseling Services in addition to recreation, the building will hopefully become a hub for wellness on campus.”
Buenzli envisions a similar set of goals for her new position. Said Buenzli, “I plan to develop and implement a series of activity classes and programs focused on fitness, health, recreation and wellness, as well as promote offerings to appropriate campus audiences and integrate wellness into the campus culture.”
This statement leaves room for a variety of positive changes and improvements in on-campus wellness programs. The new position will help to build on programs that already exist on campus.
In terms of such current initiatives, Valencic pointed to the updated WelLU website as an example. The site features a variety of information and resources available for students.
Valencic commented, “The goal of the campaign is to increase wellness-related thinking and behaviors, leading to a more fulfilling personal and community lifestyle.”
He continued, “Many members of our campus program [aim] to increase the quality of life of our students, faculty and staff, but the WelLU initiative helps promote and package these sometimes disconnected programs under one umbrella.”
Recently, WelLUhosted a Zumba class in the Warch Campus Center and an event titled “On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!,” an eight-week physical activity program. Hoping to increase campus exposure to these initiatives, WelLU now has a Facebook page as well.
Buenzli, in her new position, continues to promote “the importance of a healthy balance in life, and for individuals to understand that wellness is a constant change and adjustment to life’s expectations.”