Healthy Campus Week is an annual national event put on at universities around the country by Partnership for a Healthier America, including Fort Lewis College where students and faculty joined together to start the academic year on a healthy note.
PHA partnered with FLC recreational services, campus dining and the Wellness Peer Advisory Council to provide students with focused opportunities to stay physically and mentally healthy, said Kendra Gallego-Reichle, the Coordinator of Student Wellness Initiatives.
Healthy Campus Week ran from Sept. 23 and wrapped up Sept. 27, but efforts aimed at encouraging students to continue to focus on their health will continue throughout the school year, she said.
WellPac, a student lead organization, plans to do other tabling events in the Student Union throughout the academic year regarding body positivity and cannabis harm reduction and moderation, Gallegos-Reichle said.
WellPac aims at taking a peer support approach to student’s health. The organization set up tables for the students in and outside the Student Union building on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
WellPac staffs the peer support office in the leadership center to provide peer emotional support for students by other trained members of the organization, she said. This is a service that is provided year round.
They will be putting on a destress fest during finals week in the spring, she said. There will be dogs.
The weekly events included Mindful Monday, Tune-Up Tuesday, Water Wednesday, Thriving Thursday, and Fruit and Veggie Friday.
The recreational services hosted group fitness classes in the Student Life Center that were free for faculty, staff, and students throughout the week. The classes included yoga, meditation, dance, cardio and strength training.
For the rest of the semester some classes are free for students, Gallegos-Reichle said.
The health center offered free testing throughout the week, such as HIV tests, dermatology assessments, and discounted STI tests and flu shots.
WellPac turned Monday’s event into mindful social media and handed out conversation starters for students going into the dining hall, Gallegos-Reichle said. There was also a white board next to the table where students could write what they like and do not like about social media.
At least 182 people participated in this event, she said.
Next year, WellPac hopes to team up with the dining hall to have plates on the center of tables where students can place their phones on the plate and have conversations instead, she said.
Some of the conversation starters included; “Who had the biggest impact on the person you have become?” Has anyone ever saved your life?” “What will phones be like in 10 years?” “What is the strangest movie you have ever seen?”
WellPac hoped to help students set an initiative before scrolling on their phones, Gallegos-Reichle said.
On Wednesday, the organization had a water station outside the Student Union with cucumber, lemon, and mint for students where they also handed out small fliers with a list of the benefits of drinking water.
WellPac wanted to give a gentle reminder to students that drinking water can help prevent headaches and aid with your energy, Gallegos-Reichle said. The group also handed out fliers with other benefits of drinking water.
Stacy Jones, an FLC alumni and previous member of WellPac, put on a workshop on Wednesday called Healthy at Every Size in order to promote a realistic approach to health for students of all sizes.
On Friday, the group had another table in the Student Union where they were giving out frisbees, condoms, lube, and stickers for the weekend fun.
They had another white board put up for students to share their favorite weekend playlists and tips for a relaxing weekend with other students.
Fort Lewis anonymous students’ health tips included many outdoor activities such as visiting Purgatory, hanging out by the river, eating in downtown, and going for a hike.