University supports wellness initiatives — bcd ehh

Maggie Brickner


***Note from Bridget: Go ahead and edit this, but I’m not sure what we’re going to do with it. It’s not exactly what we were expecting to run.***

 Lawrence has taken a number of steps throughout winter term to ensure that Lawrentians are healthy in both mind and body while still keeping up with 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.

Lawrence has also hired Head Athletic Trainer and Compliance CoordinatorErin Buenzli as 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.”

Valencic has also been working to improve campus wellness by planning a variety of events from a mask making event to providing students with health information.

Lawrence Lifeline program, part of a project at Lawrence to lower suicide risk, sponsored a mask-making event Feb. 13 in the new Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center. This event allowed students to decorate masks to reveal what they usually keep hidden from the world. Another mask making program is being planned for spring term. The products of the last program are currently on display on the first floor of the Campus Center.

Students also received e-mails earlier this month that included a link to the “Student Health 101” newsletter. This publication, published by College Health Services and distributed to students around the country, made it clear that heath is not just physical, but also about healthy relationships and having a plan for the future. The interactive newsletter includes videos from other students and quizzes to take. Lawrentians can look forward to receiving a link to the newsletter monthly.

Another event seen advertised around campus was a speaker on body image, Marilyn Kanz. This event was cancelled because of the weather, but was intended to raise awareness on healthy eating and body image.

The Wellness Steering Committee, a group of students, faculty and staff, sponsored this event for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

Valencic, a member of the Committee, said, “The goal of the campaign is to increase wellness-related thinking and behaviors, leading to a more fulfilling personal and community lifestyle. Many members of our campus program [?] 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.”

The WelLU website is an online resource featuring a variety of resources and information available for students. From exercise programs to counseling services and activities, there are a variety of opportunities for everyone in the Lawrence community to get involved in the “seven basic areas of wellness: social, emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual, occupational, and environmental.”