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Students suggest new 'wellness dorm'

Members of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team are proposing the creation of a new "wellness dorm" that would cater to students interested in healthier living.

ADAPT hopes the wellness dorm will provide a substance-free environment where students can participate in programs that will contribute to healthy lifestyles, ADAPT Peer Educator Marc Olsen said.

Although still in the planning stages, some programs might include topics such as healthy eating, regular exercise and smoking prevention, Olsen said.

"We wanted an alternative for students where they could have a place of healthier living," said Brock T. Jolly, Student Council vice president for administration.

The group has not decided yet if the dorm will be open to all students or restricted to only first-year students.

"With the help of Housing and other students we will figure things out," Olsen said.

The proposal first was developed by members of ADAPT along with the Center for Alcohol and Substance Abuse Education.

"We really just wanted to mobilize a group to see if it would be feasible at the University and if other students would be interested in this as an option," said Alison Houser, CASE interim director of prevention programs and services and ADAPT adviser.

Student Council formed committees at the end of last semester consisting of students, administrators and Housing officials to determine how the new dorm might operate. Open forums for all students to voice their suggestions also have been planned for later this semester.

"I'm pleased to see the ADAPT group taking the initiative to explore alternatives," Dean of Students Penny Rue said.

With similar programs already in place in universities around the nation -- such as Delaware and Michigan -- ADAPT leaders said they are is optimistic about the feasibility of their wellness dorm proposal.

"It's certainly been done before and proved successful," Olsen said. "This would definitely be an asset for the University community."

Once the proposal leaves committee, the group then will meet with University administrators to work out details of the project such as location and the application process for acceptance into the dorm.

"There have been similar proposals in the past that have not been successful," Rue said. "We need to look at those and see what went wrong to make this project successful"


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