Health and wellness in the UVU community

The Student Life and Wellness Center hosts UVU's Wellness Programs, gym, bowling alley and many other resources to support student wellness. Photo by Katelyn Hickman.

It’s easy to think about wellness when physical activities such as hiking, camping, climbing and swimming abound. However, as the summer comes to an end and the rigors of a new semester set in, health often takes a back seat to the seemingly “more important” matters. While it’s important to prioritize education, health and wellness cannot be forgotten. 

Luckily, there are many resources available on campus to support student wellness. According to the director of Campus Recreation and Wellness, DaSheek Akwenye, the goal is to ensure that UVU’s students have “A sense of belonging and a place to make friends, recreate and live a healthy life.”

From dental and medical services to outdoor adventures and mental wellness, Utah Valley University cares about the well-being of its students and employees. UVU also takes a comprehensive approach to “wellness” with the Wellness Programs, covering six different types of wellness that constitute a healthy life. These areas include intellectual, emotional, physical, spiritual, social and nutritional wellness.

Intellectual Wellness

Intellectual wellness consists of many things, from one’s personal life to academic success. The Resource Center provides a wealth of information that can help students build healthy, long-term habits. They also provide information for services such as money management and tutoring services to aid intellectual wellness. 

Emotional Wellness

Emotions can be difficult to regulate when dealing with high amounts of stress or mental illness. To aid with these challenges, UVU offers several programs that teach strategies for stress management, nutrition, addiction, relationships and more. Mental Health Services even offers therapy, for individuals, couples and groups, to address a wide variety of topics. Individual and couples therapy is $10 per session, and is available to students enrolled in nine or more credit hours; group therapy is free and available to students enrolled in one or more credit hours. New clients can set an initial appointment here

Physical Wellness

Although at times the emphasis on physical wellness is exaggerated, it is a very important component of health. Student Health Services hosts a variety of resources to promote physical wellness, including Medical Services and a Dental Hygiene Clinic. To be eligible for the medical clinic, one must be a student enrolled with three or more credits. The dental clinic offers affordable care during the school year, and is available to both UVU students and the broader community. 

In addition to Medical Services, UVU offers plenty of resources that encourage healthy lifestyle habits, such as the Student Life and Wellness Center (SLWC) and the Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC). The SLWC is both a building and the on-campus gym, which includes fitness classes, courts and even a rock-climbing wall. Students enrolled in ten or more credits are eligible for a free SLWC gym membership. The OAC hosts multifarious events that engage students with the outdoors and provide leadership opportunities. They also rent outdoor equipment at affordable prices to both students and the community for biking, climbing, camping and winter sports. 

Spiritual Wellness

UVU recognizes the prominent role that spirituality plays in the personal lives of its students. To accommodate this reality, the Reflection Center offers “A place for meditation, prayer, reflection, or other forms of individual religious expression.” They also host mindfulness workshops and events that facilitate interreligious communication and collaboration. The Reflection Center is located in the SLWC on the first floor and is open to students whenever the building is open. 

Additionally, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints operates an Institute of Religion on campus that “teaches religious courses, and also provides an environment for spiritual development,” as stated on their website. 

Social Wellness

To promote social wellness, UVU encourages students to get involved in extracurricular activities. From the OAC to clubs to student government (UVUSA), there are countless opportunities to build a community and cultivate meaningful relationships at UVU. For those who wish to strengthen their relationship-building skills, Health Coaching provides programs to facilitate this. 

Nutritional Wellness

In the midst of fad diets and misinformation, it can be difficult to cultivate an informed relationship with nutrition. UVU offers a variety of resources, including nutritional programs, cooking classes and regular events like “Tasty Tuesday” that are intended to educate students about nutrition and health. For a complete list of events, please visit the calendar

When asked about the impact of UVU’s Wellness Programs on the lives of students, Akwenye said, “Students that engage in recreation are more likely to graduate. The academic experience can be rigorous, and recreation gives them an escape to clear their mind, body and spirit.” For more information on the Wellness Programs or to get involved, call 801-863-5553, email [email protected], or visit their offices located in SL 211.

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