On Nov. 4, Oakland University in Rochester Michigan, hosted their sixth annual Benefits and Wellness Fair.
The event was located in the campus recreation center’s 3-court gym. Faculty, staff and students were invited to attend as a kick-off to open enrollment. Over 60 venders and businesses also attended to answer questions about how to adopt a healthier lifestyle – from physical health to financial health.
“We just want to make sure we offer something for everyone. We realize that, when it comes to wellness, there’s’ a lot of change that maybe people are trying to make. So we want to make sure that we have support and services and information in place, no matter where you’re at in the wellness spectrum,” said Stephanie Willis, the coordinator of wellness, education and outreach at OU.
This was Willis’ third year in charge of the event and she said the turnout was greater than ever before. She said this is partly because of their new partnership with the Communications and Marketing Department. The president and vice president of the department agreed to send out emails to the entire university, inviting them to the fair.
“So I think we were able to reach a different crowd. We do have some work still to do,” said Willis. “Inviting students is new. This is the only the second year we’ve made a push to them to attend, where before if they came through we weren’t stopping anybody, but we weren’t really marketing specifically to them. So for next year, wheels are already turning in our heads of how we can make some changes to kind of make it more known that it’s open to everybody on campus.”
In addition to the venders, free flu shots and free group exercise classes during the fair. Orangetheory, a HIIT workout based on individual heart rates, which was opening a location around the corner from the university, sponsored the entire event.
While it may be interesting that another fitness company sponsored an event at a campus recreation center, Willis said it’s to encourage that everyone should find a place to workout where he or she feels comfortable and successful.
And she would recommend that other campus recreation department not only adopt that mindset, but also host a similar event.
“Especially when you have that upper administration support, like we do. I think it’s just another opportunity to let others now that this is something that this is something we think is important on campus and that we’re trying to make an effort toward letting others know that we really do think health and wellness is a priority and getting people to understand that,” said Willis.