The President’s Commission on Wellness aims to help all of SRU

Published by adviser, Author: Logan Campbell - Asst. News Editor, Date: September 22, 2016

The Slippery Rock President’s Commission on Wellness has put on a wide variety of events and programs throughout the month of September which aimed to promote the general wellness of students, faculty and staff on campus.

The main purpose of the commission is to design and execute events or programs which motivate and push members of the campus community to take care of their wellness. Wellness can be measured in more ways than physical. Along with physical wellness, the commission focuses on emotional, spiritual, social, environmental and occupational wellness.

Randy Nichols, professor of physical health and education, co-chairs the commission with Betsy Kemeny, assistant professor of recreational therapy. The commission originally began as a committee, and President Norton elevated it to a commission four years ago. A group of departments noticed a need for a focus on wellness, and it needed to be done, Nichols said.

“We talked about having wellness infused into each and every day, you saw it, you felt it, it was just a part of what you did at Slippery Rock,” Nichols said.

Prioritizing faculty and staff’s wellness was also important in this decision, Kemeny said. This group of people has been focused on not just on physical wellness, but on every type of wellness we offer through the commission, Kemeny said.

“I think just the pure need for it from the consequences our society is suffering from not being well is just mounting,” Nichols said. “We’re just not a well society right now.”

College can get stressful for some students around the third week back into classes, so the focus of the third week was stress management, Kemeny said.  Any opportunities to stress less were explored in different ways this week.  There was yoga, flotation meditation, a meditative hike, laughter circles, an animal assisted therapy just to name a few.

“My  vision behind it was that let’s be clear to people there are all these options on campus that don’t cost anything to do,” Kemeny said. “People should be trying to get involved in these things and take advantage of them.”

The commission has been promoted not only throughout the campus, but also the town itself, and has drawn attention to the idea and awareness of wellness. Using banners, signs, social media, press releases and students, the commission has opened people up to the idea of all around wellness, Nichols said.

“It’s a lot of students and a lot of staff that don’t realize how many opportunities there are to take care of your well-being on campus,” Nichols said.

Programs have been going on all month, but they don’t stop; the commission has ongoing classes of Zumba, yoga and meditation weekly. The commission will look to continue to put on smaller events throughout the semester with the hopes of a big event in the spring semester. The event in the spring will be similar to the flash pickle-ball mob that occurred in front of Morrow Field House earlier this month.

“We are also planning on doing a drum-ball flash mob in the quad, it’s very high energy and doesn’t even feel like you’re exercising at all,” Nichols said.

Over 15 different programs and events have been offered throughout the month as well as several yet to come. The President’s Wellness 5K Run/2K Walk, which takes place on Saturday at the Aebersold Recreation Center (ARC) will cap off the month of wellness, with registration at 7:30 a.m.


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