104 Broad Street to be Wellness Housing

This spring, as first-year students weigh their housing options for the 2010-2011 school year, they will have a new opportunity to consider. The Office of Residential Life (ResLife), in collaboration with the Wellness Initiative, is offering thirty spaces at 104 Broad Street which served as the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity house until Fall 2008 – for students interested in a “wellness lifestyle.”

Director of Residential Life and Assistant Dean of the College for Residential Education Jennifer Adams is looking forward to collaborating with interested students and the Wellness Initiative to develop this new living option.

“The Wellness Initiative at Colgate does a lot of programming that supports wellness efforts,” Adams said. “They emphasize mental, physical, social, spiritual, occupational and cultural wellness, which we hope will integrate into that house. We have lots of ideas, the Wellness Initiative really has lots of ideas, but we want the students living there to form it.”

Next year, ResLife will increase compensation slightly for staff members working with students who have chosen wellness housing in order to support the additional programs that the Office would like to offer.

“[The house] may have catered meals, where the students can enjoy some healthy dining options,” Adams said. “We might bring programming specifically geared toward psychological wellness, or possibly have the career center come in and talk about occupational wellness.”

Adams also envisions a group that will use the large common spaces in the house to share aspects of their individual “well” lifestyles with one another, such as hosting yoga or aerobics classes.

“If somebody meditates as part of their daily lifestyle, that’s an ideal person to come in and share that with the rest of the house,” Adams said. “We’d like to have other people living there who want to learn from each other about components of a healthy lifestyle.”

Additionally, ResLife is looking into bringing fitness equipment to the house to reinforce the physical aspect of the wellness lifestyle.

“We still need to talk with the Risk Manager and Athletics, but we have pondered on whether we can feasibly have fitness equipment in there that will be just for the residents of the house,” Adams said. “We’re exploring it. I can’t promise that it will be a certainty, but it’s something that we’d really like to be able to do. There’s a great little room off the entryway that would work well for a couple of treadmills and exercise bikes.”

In the past, ResLife has had difficulty filling wellness living housing options that come with a substance-free commitment. 104 Broad Street will not have a substance-free requirement, in part because the Office is interested in promoting open discussion about how alcohol can fit into a healthy lifestyle. This aspect of the wellness lifestyle opportunity appeals to first-year Daniel Sweeney, who will be going through the housing selection process in just a few weeks.

“I like this living option because it doesn’t impose a substance-free requirement, but rather it gives students the freedom to make their own decisions based on the lifestyle they want to live,” Sweeney said. “I think students can lose track of how to live healthy lifestyles when they are constantly stressed about school and classes. Living in an environment which emphasizes health and healthy alternatives to constant exercise would be very beneficial to the student body.”

Students interested in learning more about applying for this wellness lifestyle option can visit www.colgate.edu/room_selection. ResLife will be accepting interest and Greek housing applications until May 26.