Baldwin Wallace University, among other universities in the United States, is currently in the planning stages of creating a Student Wellness Committee. The upcoming committee, headed by Vice President of Student Affairs Timeka Rashid, is a group comprised of students, faculty and administrators, and campus partners that focuses on building a comprehensive student wellness experience at Baldwin Wallace University.
The Student Wellness Committee is one of the four cornerstones Rashid has introduced as Vice President of Student Affairs. This upcoming committee is in its very early stages, and its first step is to research and understand what Baldwin Wallace currently offers in terms of student wellness. This includes the Student Recreation Center, counseling, and student organizations focused on physical and mental health.
“This group is really looking at how do we bring together a comprehensive program around student well-being that will look at the six spheres of wellness,” Dr. Rashid said. “The hope is that after looking at research and benchmarking other institutions, looking at what we currently offer, and then being able to make a recommendation of timeline and implementation, which may include hiring a new position.”
Ultimately, the person placed in the wellness coordinator position will oversee promoting wellness and work with student groups and offices. Students will be able to have one person and place to turn to with anything wellness related, such as programs and resources.
“What we’re looking at in terms of student wellness”, Dr. Rashid said, “is to be an innovative, student for, student advocate supporting division that is outside of the classroom experience.”
Ryan Bolin, Student Body Vice President, is involved in the research subcommittee of this project, and he and this group have also been researching other institutions and universities to see what wellness initiatives they have put in place. The research will inform the Wellness Committee of initiatives to integrate into the Baldwin Wallace community, as well as prompt new initiatives for the committee to form.
“My hope for implementation, when we get to that point in the process, is that we can actually have a set and direct plan and have one person overseeing it,” Bolin said. “I look forward to seeing if we can bring other students into this process and get their feedback, as well.”
As the group researches and develops ideas for how to better implement student wellness, students will be included in the conversation. The collaboration will ask students for their input on potential wellness implementations, encouraging communication among those in the committee and those who will be affected by the committee’s plans.
“Student wellness and mental health, physical health, spiritual health, anything related to it is one of the most important things we do here at BW,” Bolin said. “I’d like to see it implemented in a way that it lasts for a long time and it’s not just something that’s temporarily a certain staff here.”
There is no timeline for the Student Wellness Committee’s official implementation, but it is not expected until the summer of 2023 at the earliest. Until then, research, student communication, and other preparations will continue to progress.