A Bold New Commitment to Health and Wellness
“Wellness cannot be an afterthought,” Hannigan said. “As a society, we have navigated adversities in mental and physical wellbeing that were present prior to and amplified by the pandemic. As a college community, we need to support the whole student, as well as each of our employees, and promote healthy lifestyles viewed through a broader wellness lens.”
By signing it, Ursinus joins the U.S. Health Promoting Campuses Network, which allows members to collaborate on improving the health of the people who live, learn, work, and play on their campuses and by strengthening the ecological, social, and economic sustainability of their communities.
Hannigan announced the charter signing at her inauguration kickoff event on October 12, when students, faculty, and staff were also invited to sign their own personal wellness commitment. Ursinus is one of only 17 colleges or universities in the U.S. to sign, and it has already restructured its operations in anticipation of the charter pledge. Last year, Ursinus created a comprehensive new health and wellness division, adding more staff, and establishing a flex-space trailer to add more room for both medical and counseling support when and where it is needed.
The new division unites athletics, clinical services, and health promotion for the first time, allowing an overview of campus health trends and enabling comprehensive troubleshooting of issues, particularly around mental health.
“As part of the college’s strategic plan, aptly titled Every Student’s Success, Ursinus is primed to create a culture around healthy lifestyle, behavior, choices, and community support,” Vice President for Health and Wellness Laura Moliken said. “The Okanagan Charter provides a great framework for how we can approach health and wellness across all domains—including administration, operations, and student life—both inside and outside of the classroom. I am thrilled to be able to help lead this very important venture.”