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Campus News

Freshman dorm now includes wellness space

by Morgan Steele , Staff Writer (msteele@wwc)

In an effort to promote and facilitate wellness for all students on campus, wellness housing expanded this year to include the third floor of Sunderland.

According to Area Coordinator and Health Promotion Administrator Phil Wiltzus, this expansion is largely due to the previous lack of wellness living facilities for freshmen.

“From my understanding,” said Wiltzus, “there’s a greater need for freshmen to feel healthy and safe, whether that means choosing to smoke and drink or not. The wellness hall in Sunderland is just like the wellness housing in Ballfield. Why should that be reserved only for upperclassmen? I think it’s important that they have this available.”

Emily Sprouse, a freshman living on the third floor of Sunderland, generally approves of her wellness experience thus far.

“I didn’t want my roommate to drink, smoke or throw crazy orgies in our room,” said Sprouse, regarding her decision to live in a wellness hall. “It’s going well. The air conditioning is nice, too.”
In his first week on campus, Patrick Bell, another freshman living in the new wellness area of Sunderland, says he’s been enjoying the option of living in isolation from some unhealthy practices on campus.

“You can go to a party,” said Bell, “but you can’t leave a party if you live on a normal floor…I’ve yet to see any substance abuse up here.”

Sunderland’s uppermost hall is now home to several freshman who specifically asked for wellness housing but also to some who never requested it. According to Sprouse and Bell, the fact that the third floor of Sunderland is a wellness hall was only vaguely and briefly addressed in their hall meeting during orientation. There was no mention of a “wellness contract” or policy, both of which, Wiltzus says, are required of all who live in housing designated as a wellness sanctuary.

“Every student that is on a wellness hall or floor signs or implicitly agrees to the wellness contract when they live there,” said Wiltzus. “It says that they agree to not abuse substances while living in that hall. If they break it they can’t live there. It’s there for a purpose so people can feel safe and if people get drunk and come back then that’s not a safe, positive environment.”

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