California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Student Life takes over Wellness Programs

What ever happened to California Lutheran University’s Wellness Program? Many may not have realized it, but the Wellness Program has faded on the Cal Lutheran campus.
The Wellness Program was originally a Resident’s Life program and was brought over to Student Life in 2007.

“The purpose of the Wellness Program was to serve our traditional undergraduate students as well as our professional and graduate students,” Kristin Dees, associate director of Student Life, said. “ It included health and fitness, eating right, mental and spiritual wellness, alcohol awareness and  sexual responsibility.”

The Wellness Program and Student Life wanted to foster student participation when it came to issues of personal wellness so they incorporated interns into the program.

“Wellness had several dimensions,” Shelby Pleiss, former wellness intern, said. “We worked to provide students with information and resources in order for them to make the decisions they were going to make. So it wasn’t like they were being lectured by faculty or administrations, it was someone their age that they could have an open and honest conversation with, and it was easier for them to stay connected.”

Over the years the Wellness Program went through several changes. The program  had a few different people running it and with each different person came different focuses for the program, which may have emphasized certain aspects over others.

“I think that the university wanted to focus more on the domestic issues that may be going on around campus,” Evan Carthen, former wellness intern said. “So the programming should be revolved around that and with Title IX they want to spread awareness in the same way that we did with wellness but more focused on specific aspects that affect students the most.”

So it would have it that Title IX replaced the Wellness Program and is now the focus of Student Life and its health awareness programming.

“In 2013, the federal government came down with the Title IX mandate, so the money we had allocated for wellness could not support all the programs we were running,” Dees said. “It was a federal mandate and the federal government gave no money to institutions, so there was a decision to use the wellness budget to program and have wellness turn more toward Title IX.”

According to the United States Department of Justice, Title IX is a “comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.”

With this new Title IX programing, Student Life is hoping to continue to hone in on active student participation.

“I think it is important to have programs like this on college campuses. And for us it was cool because it was students helping to provide this information to our peers,” Carthen said.  “We did a lot of activities and presentations with the freshman seminar classes. It was something that was put on [for] the new freshman class so they knew it was available and not something they had to search for, and I think Title IX will continue that.”

The new program is finding innovative ways to spread awareness and provide information for issues affecting today’s younger generation.

“We have four interns who are called Peer Prevention program interns,” Dees said. “We are bringing an improv group to campus on Nov. 5 that  is going to talk about dating and relationships in a candid way. We also have a Student Health 101 online magazine that has fitness information, healthy eating tips and sexual assault articles. It is an interactive magazine so people are able to comment, watch videos and click on links.”

Islamiyah Arogundade
Staff Writer
Published October 14th, 2015

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