Healthy Campus celebration promotes wellness

The midday event drew a large crowd of students, staff, and faculty members

October 14, 2019
Author: Imran Ghori
October 14, 2019

From flu shots to free swag, UC Riverside students, faculty, and staff members explored a variety of healthy living resources at the UCR Healthy Campus 2nd Annual Celebration on Thursday, Oct. 10.

The two-hour event next to the bell tower included more than 40 booths representing groups and projects associated with Healthy Campus. Many offered giveaways, such as T-shirts, or encouraged participants to take part in activities. Several offered healthy educational materials.

UCR Health provided free blood pressure checks, glucose tests, and flu vaccine shots — drawing a long line of students. The Student Recreation Center and Athletics had separate booths where attendees could shoot a basketball and earn prizes. A smoothie bike was available for participants to blend their own smoothies.

The Office of Emergency Management offered first aid demonstrations on dummies, showing onlookers how to provide chest compressions and apply pressure to a wound. Vendors offered healthy snacks such as fruit jerky.

UCR Healthy Campus offered information and sought input on projects such as a proposed walking trail and adding more water stations. Mental health and substance use resources were provided. Participants could also enter into a raffle with prizes that included T-shirts, blankets, a UCR teddy bear, and a yoga mat.

About 700 people attended with 245 posting responses to the question "What does it mean to be a Highlander?"

Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Tom Smith highlighted the accomplishments of Healthy Campus in a welcome speech and urged the campus community to get involved with the group and live a healthy lifestyle.

“We’re really seeing things change on campus in regards to the importance of health and well-being in an academic environment,” he said.

UCR’s Healthy Campus project is part of the University of California Health Campus Network, which involves all 10 UC campuses. The goal is “to make UC the healthiest place to work, learn, and live.”

 “We hope to increase awareness of Healthy Campus to student, faculty, and staff and encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle and to take part in creating a healthy work and learning environment,” said Julie Chobdee, Wellness Program coordinator and co-chair of Healthy Campus. “Everyone needs to own this and make health a priority.”