With one year down and two more to go, the Division of Student Affairs’ Health and Wellness Community of Practice has come together to collaborate with Partnership for a Healthier America to bolster healthier options on campus.
PHA is the dominant organization operating with private sectors to ensure that all children and young adults have the freedom to endure healthy and active lives.
Campus Recreation, Health Promotion and Wellness, Student Counseling Services and Student Health Services have been working on plans to include and execute PHA’s Healthier Campus Initiative guidelines that implement the wellness and health of all students, faculty and staff.
“It takes a lot of collaboration and a lot of buy-ins, not only from students but other departments on campus that this will be an effective change so we can have their support and things like that,” Assistant Director of Campus Recreation Fitness Krista Gooris said.
The Healthier Campus Initiative provides organizations with 41 guidelines, in which the organizations have three years to choose and complete 23 of the 41 guidelines among their given communities.
For the Division of Student Affairs’ Health and Wellness Community of Practice and ISU’s campus setup, nine of these 23 guidelines have already been completed over the past year.
Already almost halfway there, those involved in the planning process have agreed that many of the chosen guidelines will work toward building upon current campus wellness efforts to create additional opportunities for physical activity and healthier eating habits.
“We were trying to pick things that were stretch goals to be like ‘okay, this is a stretch, but we have to make it happen. How can we make it happen and how can we all collectively bring our funds together and our minds together, and make it happen?’” Gooris said.
Some of these stretch goals include free fitness assessments and opportunities for non-academic cooking skills classes that will be available to all students each year.
The goals from the HCI also tie in with the Health and Wellness Community of Practice’s new Eight at State campaign that was announced with the three-year commitment at the Healthy Campus Kickoff on Sept. 25.
“We do this [program] behind the scenes, so nobody knows that we’re doing it. The kind of cool part is that this is the stuff that we get to do for students that they don’t know about until it’s done,” Gooris said.
However, the Eight at State campaign will be one of the more noticeable and student-initiated opportunities over the course of time with logos around campus.
The eight dimensions of wellness include emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual and vocational.
This campaign comes with a daily tracker of activities in each course of the program.
For participants, they can become eligible for prizes after entering a certain number of activities and points within the tracker.
“Basically, students can expect to see [the Eight at State] logo on a lot of different marketing so they could be like ‘oh, that’s going to help my financial wellness’ or ‘oh, that’s going to help my emotional wellness,’” Gooris said.
ISU is one of over 70 institutions of higher education that fosters and plans to foster the HCI guidelines across campus.
The goals and campaign go to show the overwhelming amount of support that this commitment has from the departments, the community and university officials.
“We have great support from not only President [Larry] Dietz but also Vice President of Student Affairs Levester Johnson. Both of them are extremely supportive of it and know that however we have to go about getting it done, we will,” Gooris said.