Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
A few lively balloons decorated Parrish West Circle yesterday as a throng of people gathered in the grass, listening to the head cross-country coach Peter Carroll talk about stretching techniques. Carroll was just doing a small favor for Swarthmore’s Wellness Group for Faculty and Staff. However, he was talking to students too—students clutching free silver waterbottles and maps of the Crum in their fists.
They were all going to walk on the Wellness Trails mapped out over the Crum and Swarthmore’s campus.
Lee Robinson, HR representative for the Wellness Group, said “[It is] an important thing to stay active and walking is such a simple thing. Plus we have this wonderful Arboretum to walk in.”
“Actually, this is the beginning for us in trying to merge some events.”
Since 2001 the Wellness Group has been working actively to raise awareness and increase exposure to a myriad of wellness topics for Swarthmore’s faculty. But this year member Kelly Wilcox has begun working with the Student Wellness Committee and the Dean’s Office to start bringing events to students as well.
“I have a lot of resources for students…I’m excited because this feels like the start of something,” Wilcox said.
That something is a series of events involving more and more student input and interaction. Gina Salcedo, 2010, acted as the liaison for the Student Wellness Committee in organizing yesterday’s event with Wilcox.
“What we do is just think about things that would be appealing to the student body…the Wellness Committee is planning to hold a bunch of workshops, maybe something on caffeine, something on alternative medicine, or on healthy cooking.”
These events do not yet have scheduled dates. The Wellness Group for Faculty and Staff is open to sharing its resources, and has some ideas in mind for the future as well.
“This is kind of the first of many events to introduce the students to the trails…If anyone just missed this event—if an RA wants to get a group together, or some mountain bikers are interested in looking at the trails, I’d be happy to take an hour off to show them,” Wilcox said.
Robinson, not working with the Deans, specified goals of the whole Wellness Group and its partners.
“The effort of putting this all together was a joint effort between Phys Ed and Athletics, Facilities, and the Wellness Group. What’s coming in the future is the trails will actually be marked…[Facilities] also said they wanted to put up some fitness stations,” said Robinson.
For now students can pick up one of the two brochures laying out the various trails on campus and in the Crum. The trails were designed and measured by the Wellness Group and are rated by difficulty.
The draw of yesterday’s event may have been the free bicycle helmets for those who showed up with their bicycles, donated by an executive alumnus at Bell who noticed that students rode around campus without helmets on.
“I’m also really excited about these helmets. Maybe next time—I’m kind of excited about having this again,” Salcedo said.