The Class Boards announced in an email Sunday night that they, with nine other student groups, will be hosting a wellness project throughout the month of March.
The project is intended as a collaborative effort among student groups who have been combating the stigma of mental health and furthering mental wellness on campus.
“We wanted to respond to all of the dialogue that has been happening on campus about mental health issues especially given what our campus has been going through,” Junior Class Board President Ariel Koren said. “We were inspired by all of the efforts by the different groups on campus and people from different walks of life.”
Koren explained that they wanted to reach the student body “with an effort that’s centralized, that brings together different groups already working on these issues.”
The project will be occurring throughout the entire month, with “Wellness Wednesdays” hosted by the class boards as well as other events including a speaker event featuring the Chaplain and members of EXCELANO, a reach for wellness movement spearheaded by APO and mental wellness week hosted by the Counseling and Psychological Services student advisory board.
“We talked about how different groups can leverage their expertise - how we can bring together everyone in a really big and powerful way,” Koren said.
Students participating in the speaking event come from all different experiences with mental health. College junior Victoria Ford is one speaker who will be reading a poem that she posted as a Facebook status while abroad in London.
“It was kind of fate because I’d been thinking about wellness and mental health,” Ford said. “It’s generally talking about certain feelings of unhappiness that everyone can relate to and how we are genetically and physically designed to make ourselves happy.”
Ford said she is excited to be involved with this project because it really shows “the power that students have but also the concern we have for each other.”
The project is meant to be continuous and extend beyond the limitations of a one-time event. Others who are involved have faced mental illness directly, like College junior Jack Park .
“Personal stories are the greatest resource for these types of issues,” Park said. “This is a good event because it has major student representation ... I felt that if I speak up that everyone else would speak up about their stories and it would start the momentum.”