Healthy Campus Initiative
Be Well: A Healthy Campus Initiative was founded at UNC Asheville in 2017; it is a collaboration of the Department of Health and Wellness, NC Center for Health and Wellness, and Mission Health and is part of the University’s Strategic Plan. UNC Asheville’s Healthy Campus Initiative is based on Healthy Campus 2020, a national framework from the American College Health Association.
The goals of the Healthy Campus Initiative are to:
- Promote wellness as a core value of UNC-Asheville
- Gather information to help define wellness as a community
- Develop strategies for reaching goals
- Network campus resources
- Mental Health Among Students
- Nutrition and Food Justice
- Physical Activity and Fitness
- Work/Life Balance Among Faculty/Staff
The Healthy Campus Initiative is led by a full time staff member, supported by a variety of campus community members, and staffed by incredible student employees. Projects of the Healthy Campus Initiative include (but aren’t limited to) policy and planning advocacy, data collection, campus wellness and sustainability tours, workshops, faculty/staff fitness classes and health coaching, curriculum infusion, equipping faculty and staff to support students’ mental health, the Food Equity Initiative, building students’ capacity to work in health promotion, and work/life balance support for employees.
Jordan Perry has served as the inaugural Healthy Campus Liaison since October 2017. Jordan’s role consists of campus community health promotion, which includes everything from data collection to policy and environmental level change to individual level support. She uses the Healthy Campus 2020 framework to guide her efforts and partners with many campus departments and centers to decrease health disparities and increase wellbeing.
Healthy Campus Coalition
The Healthy Campus Initiative is supported by the Healthy Campus Coalition, a passionate group of 40 staff, faculty, and students dedicated to creating a culture of health at UNC Asheville. The Coalition is made up of two groups, the Leadership Advisory Council (LAC) and four action groups, each devoted to the issues prioritized early in implementation. The goals of each group are listed below.
The Leadership Advisory Council aims to:
- Listen, advocate, and use their influence on and off campus
- Act as a repository and filter for information related to core values for the Coalition
- Bring forward decisions or a need for decisions
- Liaise with senior campus leadership
The Fitness Action Group aims to:
- Promote physical activity among students, faculty, staff, and OLLI members
- Motivate and encourage individuals to be physically active
- Create/sponsor community-oriented events to encourage physical activity
- Educate about what fitness options we already offer
The Food Justice and Nutrition Action Group aims to:
- Promote food justice and nutrition among students, faculty, and staff
- Identify needs of our campus community in regards to food justice and nutrition issues
- Help campus community members access resources that can promote healthy eating habits, food justice/nutrition education, and sustainability within the food system
- Network with the Food Equity Initiative and other on-campus organizations for food justice and nutrition projects/events
The Work/Life Balance Action Group aims to:
- Promote work/life balance among faculty and staff
- Create a culture of wellness for faculty and staff members at UNC Asheville
- Educate employees about the resources they have to practice balance
- Promote self-awareness, vitality, and productivity
The Mental Health Action Group aims to:
- Promote mental health among students
- Reduce stigma associated with help-seeking
- Educate students about existing resources
Membership in the Coalition is accepted on a rolling basis. Contact Jordan Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Internships & Student Employment
Students are the backbone of the Healthy Campus Initiative and do everything from teaching fitness classes to collecting and analyzing data to distributing food to conducting ergonomic assessments to organizing and leading workshops. Here’s what some student workers had to say about being part of the Healthy Campus Initiative:
“I am proud to work with the Healthy Campus Coalition and the Fitness Action Group. I have assisted with projects such as the weekly distribution of healthy snacks around campus and making the gym more accessible by producing gym equipment orientation videos. This work is important to me because it creates a supporting and welcoming community at UNCA, while also promoting health, wellness, accessibility, and positivity!” – Miranda
“Working as a Healthy Campus Coalition Intern has helped me utilize the skills that I learn in the classroom, and make a genuine difference within our campus community. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to learn and further develop my public health skills/knowledge so that one day I can pass on what I’ve learned to future college students and research pressing public health issues.” -Courtney
“My favorite part about working as a Healthy Campus intern is having the opportunity to build hard skills that are relevant to my field of study. As interns, we are given the tools, support and creative freedoms that enable us to bring our visions for campus-wide health initiatives to life. Not only is it a great source of professional development, but a fun way to interact with the UNCA community. I love being able to work side-by-side with my peers, mentors, faculty and staff members toward a common goal of improving health on our campus.” – Caitlin
Open positions are posted to Handshake. Hiring is typically done at either the beginning or end of the semester. If you have an idea for a project you’d like to make happen, or an internship you’d like to complete, contact Jordan at email@example.com to pitch your idea.
Research & Data
We regularly collect data on student and employee health and wellness. If you are interested in using the data we collect as part of a class project or research project, contact Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.