An Oct. 11 Healthy Campus Network event at the Newkirk Alumni Center celebrated the progress and UCI’s future plans for the University of California initiative to improve the health of students, staff and faculty systemwide.
The Healthy Campus Network promotes innovative reforms in all dimensions of health and well-being “to make UC the healthiest place to work, learn and live.” Supported by President Janet Napolitano and funded through the Global Food Initiative, it aligns with GFI goals by integrating each UC location into a strong, sustainable, coordinated infrastructure. The Healthy Campus Network was founded on the belief that to fundamentally alter our health environment, campus communities must invest in a host of small changes that add up to meaningful shifts, thereby producing a lasting culture of health.
The UCI Healthy Campus Network is split into focus groups that seek to respond to various issues around campus, such as mental health, sexual health, nutrition, drugs and alcohol, and physical activity. At the Oct. 11 event, each group spoke about its progress over the past year.
Luis Angel Cendejas, the UCI project manager, said: “We have been successful in breaking down silos to connect staff, faculty, community members and students to form strong collaborative teams to focus on projects, policy and environmental changes that have helped to alleviate campus health issues.”
The UCI team is increasing access to healthy food on campus through the FRESH Basic Needs Hub, urging students to walk more with the “Take the Stairs” campaign, and working with Associated Students of UCI to put mental health resources on the back of student ID cards. Its members also held a “sex week” series of events that included a Q&A session with a panel of experts to promote health and safety.
The group will continue its efforts to ensure that UCI becomes a model for other campuses around the nation on dealing with issues that affect the health and morale of students, faculty and staff. To learn more, visit https://www.icts.uci.edu/ce/healthy.php.