Feature: Student Wellness Project

by Molly Scott

Breathe in, breathe out.

As finals quickly approach, it’s important to remember that our health and well-being are just as important as getting an A on that final paper. The Student Wellness Project (SWP) is a great organization on campus that ensures the well-being of all students. They also pushed for the new wellness statement that is going to appear on Barnard syllabi next semester. Nazia Jannat, a representative of SWP, answered a few questions we had about the organization in general and what the new statement on our syllabi next year actually states.

9WK: What is the Student Wellness Project?
SWP: The Student Wellness Project is a student-created, student-led movement founded in November 2011 that aims to help students feel like their best selves by promoting a campus culture of well-being. We are driven by an understanding that the rigors of college life are not always benign, and we believe that achieving wellness is a right of every student. Through our initiatives and events, we aim to promote an understanding of personal wellness in the context of college life, build bridges between students and campus wellness resources, and empower students to critically examine existing resources and take direct action to create improvements. SWP is a Student Governing Board recognized group.

9WK: Do both Barnard and Columbia participate in SWP?
SWP: Yes, SWP members can come from any school within the university.

9WK: How can students get involved?
SWP: Anyone is welcome to come our weekly meetings on Sundays at 1pm in Lerner SGO (room 505). You can also sign up to be in our emailing list by reaching out to swpcore@googlegroups.com.

Go to your happy place.

9WK: What is the new statement on teachers syllabi?
SWP: [Teachers at Barnard now have the option to include the following statement drafted by SWP on their syllabi.]

“It is important for undergraduates to recognize and identify the different pressures, burdens, and stressors you may be facing, whether personal, emotional, physical, financial, mental, or academic. We as a community urge you to make yourself — your own health, sanity, and wellness — your priority throughout this term and your career here. Sleep, exercise, and eating well can all be a part of a healthy regimen to cope with stress. Resources exist to support you in several sectors of your life, and we encourage you to make use of them. Should you have any questions about navigating these resources, please visit these sites:

Barnard Primary Care: http://barnard.edu/primarycare
Furman Counseling Center: http://barnard.edu/counseling
Columbia Health Services: http://health.columbia.edu/

9WK: Any tips on general wellness for the student population?
SWP: Try to set realistic goals for yourself while tackling tasks and assignments and take breaks in between. Stay in tune with your body so you can eat healthy and make sure to get enough rest, finals are around the corner and sleep is important! Don’t forget to take time off for yourself and do something you enjoy, be it exercising, traveling, cooking, etc. Also, be sure to keep in touch with our Facebook group and our blog site.

Thank you SWP!

Molly Scott is a sophomore at Barnard and Girl Talk Editor for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Images courtesy of quotepaty and Alligator.

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