NIU developing campus wellness initiative, seeks student input


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Fitness classes at the Recreation Center include dance fitness, indoor cycling and more.

By Northern Star Staff

DeKALB — NIU is in the early stages of developing a campus wellness initiative and is looking for student input.

The goal of this initiative is to improve the well-being of students and faculty by reviewing university policies, Chris Dawe, director of university recreation and wellness, said. There are currently no solidified plans set for the initiative since it is still being discussed.

Dawe is seeking feedback from students regarding the initiative.

He has been leading discussions for a potential campus-wide initiative since February, he said.

Dawe said he wants to create systematic change rather than new programs or services.

He will examine how current university policies impact students’ emotional, social, intellectual and physical health, he said.

“Is that policy helping all of the people on this campus with their wellness or is it hurting people?” Dawe said.

Dawe said he wants to determine a direction for the initiative in discussion between campus leaders and students.

The next steps for the campus wellness initiative include creating a steering committee and conducting a campus consultation, Dawe said.

Students can be involved in this initiative by completing the National College Health Assessment survey in the spring semester.

“That data then can really help us plan and prioritize what are some of the kinds of things that we need to do,” Dawe said, “Is sleep an issue? [Are] alcohol, drugs and other things an issue? Is stress an issue? Is mental health an issue? Is physical activity or sedentary behavior an issue? Is food insecurity an issue?”