UR opens new well-being center to students and faculty
By Madyson Fitzgerald
This semester, University of Richmond opened its new Well-Being Center to students, faculty and staff, a big push for promoting campus well-being on a large scale.
The three-floor building, attached to the Weinstein Center for Recreation, focuses on various aspects of health and self-care. In fact, each floor holds features meant to support and build healthier lifestyles from a holistic approach.
This holistic approach is based on five key areas of well-being: exercise, nutrition, self-care, mindfulness and sleep. Each area of focus is portrayed by a symbol, and these are placed all over the facility to indicate areas that support each focus.
According to information on Richmond’s website, “All five of these areas are essential to ensure that our campus community is thriving, and they have been shown to improve one or more of the main impediments to students’ academic success, which include: stress, anxiety, sleep difficulties, and depression.”
The first floor features a meditation garden, message and lactation rooms, as well as a lounge for studying. The most eye-catching feature for many students is Organic Krush, the campus’ new restaurant.
After passing the outdoor fire pit, surrounded by comfy chairs and lounge space, University of Richmond sophomore Josie Holland said that it was like being in a whole new world. “Once I was past the glass doors of the front entrance to the Organic Krush Cafe, it was like I left winter behind. The ambient ‘nature’ sounds that played on the speakers were soothing, while the colors and design of the building was open and bright,” Holland said.
“Overall, the Well-Being Center is a welcome addition to the university campus, and one I hope to explore more once the weather is warmer,” she said.
Beside Organic Krush sits the demonstration kitchen, where dietitians will offer instructional programs to teach students how to cook for healthy meals on a budget. The kitchen will also offer free samples of products prepared by campus dietitians.
The second floor houses the mind-body studio, a large, double-story room with grand windows and wall length mirrors. The space will be available for mindfulness practice, meditation and yoga, but will also include structured programs offered throughout the week.
The second floor is also home to the new student health center, where students who fall ill can go for help.
On the third floor, there are more offices that support student needs, including Counseling and Psychological Services, the Center for Awareness, Response and Education, and more space to study. There is also a group room discreetly tucked away for group counseling and other activities.
“Some of these things sound like such luxuries, but they are really necessities,” Tom Roberts, associate vice president of health and well-being, said in an article with UR Now. “I hope students come in here and find something they need and that can help them.”
The Well-Being Center is in alignment with UR’s strategic planning of creating a thriving and inclusive university community.
According to their website, “central to our thriving and inclusion work is a comprehensive well-being initiative to strengthen and align programs that support both high achievement and a well-balanced life.
“The state-of-the-art facility will serve as a hub for student health, supporting students in a holistic manner and fostering the resilience that will serve them throughout their lives.”
Zariah Chiverton, another UR sophomore, said that the building’s design is what catches her attention. “I’ve had the chance of walking through the new Well-Being Center a few times, and I can’t get over how pretty it is,” she said. “It’s bright and welcoming and it feels nice to be in a space that caters to the well-being of students.”
Sophomore Jasmine Walker had similar sentiments about the building’s design. “I love how every detail of the Well-Being Center has been so carefully thought out,” Walker said. “When I step into the building, everything from the music to the neutral tones of the interior causes a wave of relaxation to wash over me.
“It will be hugely appreciated by a student body that works so hard on a day-to-day basis, as a place to relax from everything that’s going on.”
UR Well, in partnership with the Well-Being Center, is already hosting a large array of virtual events, including well-being seminars, mindfulness programs and more long-term series throughout the semester. Many of these programs are available to both students and faculty.