CU’s Wellness Program and the American Cancer Society will be at the recreation center throughout the week handing out information about self-examinations and other issues involving cancer as part of Fall Fit Week.
On Monday the Wellness Program celebrated Nutrition Day and arranged interactive games and handed out apples and oranges. On Tuesday, for Stress Day, they gave free chair massages.
Funded by student fees, the Wellness Program is part of CU’s Community Health Education Department. The Community Health Education Department is a function of Wardenburg Health Center and includes three other peer-education groups including Sexual Health, COURAGE and Interactive Theatre.
“Students should utilize this program because for one, they pay for this program through student fees,” said CJ Fox, a senior MCD biology major. “Most of the programs are just to relieve stress, help students get through the college experience, and live as healthy as possible since people’s lifestyles aren’t that healthy in college.”
Professional Coordinator for the Wellness Program, Anne Reinhart, said the Wellness Program covers topics such as nutrition, tobacco prevention, body image, eating disorders, sleep and cancer awareness.
“We give stress management, three-minute chair massages through the Haven. We also make stress balls, aromatherapy oils and cold-care kits,” Reinhart said.
Haven is a program that is utilized by on-campus dorms and organizations that wish to schedule workshops on subjects like stress management, body images and nutrition. Depending on size, the program sets up the workshop in a lounge or empty room and is usually run by three to five volunteers.
“This year the dorms have participated in numerous Havens, which include stress management workshops. We offer free three-minute chair massages, a chance for people to make own aromatherapy bottles, (and) offer tea and suggestions on stress management,” Reinhart said. “We regularly teach a practicum in Farrand for the ‘Coming of Age’ women’s literature class two or three times a week for an hour and a half.”
With midterms in progress, stress is prevalent. According to Reinhart, students attend the Wellness Program’s activities because they want to relax and take a break from their busy schedules.
“Students usually take an aromatherapy bottle and are more relaxed when they leave. Also, they have picked up information on managing stress, even when there aren’t chair massages going on,” Reinhart said.
Many student volunteers also think that this program is beneficial to the CU student community.
“I suggest students try out the Havens or the Wellness Center, which is located on the 2nd floor of the UMC. Havens are set up by specific group on campus. All RAs can set up Havens on their floor,” said Preston Garland, a sophomore bio-chemistry major. “Havens and the Wellness Center are both similar programs for stress management, and stress is a major issue here on campus.”
The Wellness Program is a student-run organization, and this year there are 27 peer volunteers and six student coordinators. The coordinators help manage volunteers and put together the Wellness Program’s events.
“The program is very approachable because (the volunteers) are all students, while (the program) is also geared towards students,” said Lauren Koutavas, a freshman integrative physiology major.
Student volunteers have to fill out an application and have a short interview with the student coordinators to become part of the Wellness Program. Once accepted, there is a 15-hour training session to introduce the student to the program.
“I learned a lot in training. It was two days and we learned all the different aspects of the Wellness Program. I think I learned a lot from the presentations,” Amana Malik, a freshman integrative physiology and psychology major said.
Volunteers attend meetings every Wednesday from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. These meetings may have students discussing upcoming events, learning in-depth information, listening to guest speakers, assembling kits, receiving acupuncture treatments, doing yoga classes, watching nutrition presentations, or attending cooking classes.
As the program continues to get support, the hope is to expand these services to the entire student body.
“We are trying to expand the sleep program,” Reinhart said. “We are trying to do a big sleep campaign called ‘Sleep Bash’ that will encourage people to take naps, learn what a nap is, and talk to people about what healthy sleeping is.”
Along with Sleep Bash, the Wellness Program will be installing hand sanitizers throughout 12 buildings on campus.
The Wellness Program will also be in charge of Quit and Win, a month-long contest to help motivate students to quit smoking for an entire month. Participants are eligible to win a $500 travel package by participating and they will also be working on the Great American Smokeout that will take place on Nov. 16.
“We are getting ready for big events next semester, so people should keep their eyes open, especially for Body Acceptance Month,” Reinhart said. “Also, we are always looking for volunteers.”
To find out more, visit the Wellness Program’s Web site.