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Forum Addresses Well-Being, Health and Safety on College Campuses

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    Special to UM News

    CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 27, 2017)—With student and employee well-being as a central theme, a two-day conference hosted by the University of Miami’s Division of Student Affairs and Department of Wellness and Recreation examined strategies and best practices to foster a culture of health and safety on college campuses nationwide.

    Held October 13-14 at the Herbert Wellness Center, the forum attracted 18 leaders from 12 colleges and universities and was co-hosted by the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA)—two organizations that recognize that a campus environment of healthy behaviors not only contributes to academic success but also plays an important role in forming and maintaining positive relationships in communities.

    Representatives from the American College Health Association (ACHA) also attended and spoke at the forum, exchanging their experiences and perspectives on student and employee well-being.

    NIRSA Past-President Kathleen Hatch facilitated the forum and encouraged dialogue about how to best align campus partnerships and resources to successfully integrate universal well-being into campus cultures.

    NIRSA’s mission is to advocate for the advancement of recreation, sport, and wellness by providing educational and developmental opportunities, generating and sharing knowledge, and promoting networking and growth for their members. The organization also believes in transforming lives and inspiring the development of healthy communities worldwide.

    The leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession, NASPA has a similar mission with four guiding principles of integrity, innovation, inclusion, and inquiry. NASPA’s vision is to be the principal source of leadership, scholarship, professional development, and advocacy for student affairs.

    UM’s Department of Wellness and Recreation strives to foster a lifestyle of responsible choices supporting the mind, the body, and the spirit in educational, wellness, and recreational programs through services and facilities for the University community.

    “Wellness involves more than physical fitness—it’s about maintaining a balanced lifestyle,” said Scott Levin, UM’s executive director of wellness and recreation, who, along with Vice President for Student Affairs Pat Whitely, hosted the meeting. “At the Herbert Wellness Center, we offer programs such as group fitness classes, intramural sports, and weight training that focus on physical well-being as well as classes like cooking, meditation, mindfulness, and yoga that focus on mental well-being.”

    All of the organizations present at the forum have missions aligning core values that attempt to grow and develop their community to make choices that promote a wholesome lifestyle. Through the forum, the organizations were able to develop content and resources to assist their community members in finding their wellness fit.



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