BY TYLER MILLIKEN // NOV 1, 2016 //
In an environment where stress seems to plague almost every single student, there should be a place where you can go to seek advice, comfort, or medical help while surviving the daily struggles of college life.
On Oct. 12, the Wellness Center made its highly anticipated transition to a brand new facility on campus, located at 1016 Brush Hill Road.
It’s a big step for the Colonel community, as the school looks to focus on self-care and happiness among its students. The Wellness Center has the potential to pay huge dividends immediately.
It’s been a lengthy process while working to just get the Wellness Center up and running. Lisa MacDonald, Vice President of Student Affairs, explained that she couldn’t even remember everyone that was involved in making this project a reality.
“Without a doubt, this wasn’t something that came together over night,” says MacDonald. “Quite a few departments were involved in not only forming the idea behind this new Wellness Center, but also while trying to build it.”
Before housing the Wellness Center, the building was a home that has since been fully renovated and added to campus.
“There were quite a few changes that had to be made in order to ensure it was capable of handling so many essential departments for the school,” MacDonald explains.
During just the first few weeks of the Wellness Center’s new existence, MacDonald says there has been a “solid” amount of traffic flow from students. She also says the success hasn’t really surprised her so far, crediting it to the amount of “programmatic opportunities” being made available to the students.
“There’s hope these different programs can allow students to help better their decision making, improve their coping skills, and find whatever level of happiness they need in order to get through each day,” she explains.
The Wellness Center houses a total of seven departments across three floors; Technology (First Floor), Student Conduct (First Floor), Residence Life (First Floor), Health services (Second Floor), Wellness Ed (Second Floor), Spiritual Life (Second Floor), and Counseling (Third Floor), with a total of 21 staff members. A number of Student Affair offices are also housed on the first floor of this new unit.
“This building is about our students,” says MacDonald. “We want to make this a place where they feel welcomed.”
These sentiments seem to be echoed by the entire staff at the Wellness Center. Passion is what forms the foundation of this new facility.
The staff is hoping to build an entire brand based off this new building by becoming more active on social media with #WellnessWednesdays and handing out different Wellness Center products such as tea and tissues.
“Getting items that can help with relaxation and tough times can go a long way towards students finding a sense of comfort while staying on campus,” says MacDonald.
“Personally I have experienced a lot of stress,” says sophomore psychology major Ashley Dwarika. “I think most of the people here at Curry suffer from different forms of it, which can lead to self-harm and a bunch of other issues. So, I like to see they’re focusing on it, and I think that’s something that needs to be brought to attention more”.
Even though the Wellness Center is now fully open for all students to visit, it isn’t a finished product. There’s hope that the Wellness Center will hold an open house at the start of November.
Senior business major Marvin Bony mentioned, “I had never been to the wellness center before. But I heard students talking about it a few weeks before they made their move. The fact I heard about it definitely means more people are aware of their transition.”
And students seem to be reciprocating well to the idea of a new, all-encompassing Wellness Center.
Nicole Harkins, a junior psychology major, thinks the move to one cohesive location was a smart move. “It is a great resource for students. Including all of those services in one building makes it easier for students to utilize them all.”
Advocates for the Wellness Center have high hopes about the impact it will have on campus.
As statistics continue to show the new levels of immense stress and unhappiness in college students, it’s a refreshing change of pace to see an institute working to ease the life of their students, instead of just shrugging it off and looking the other way.