By Kate Blankinship
The Wellczar program began in 1980—eventually developing into the larger, more far-reaching Health Promotion & Wellness department. The program still exists under the HPW department, but has evolved considerably since its start. Today, Wellczars are students who work within their Houses to inform their peers about everything from safe sex to student resources available on campus.
“It’s a good program because it focuses on physical, mental, and emotional well-being and really encourages students to engage in healthy behaviors regarding all aspects of their being, not just the physical aspect,” third-year Wellczar Delia Sosa said.
There are 38 House-elected Wellczars on campus, in addition to a student coordinator. Third-year Danielle Grubb currently holds this position, and ensures Wellczars fulfill their responsibilities, including giving their Houses a safe-sex course and informing their House of events and resources. Grubb also runs three presentations per quarter—the aspect of her job she finds most rewarding.
“It’s cool that I’m able to teach these things that are really important to me,” Grubb, who hopes to one day have a career in public health, said about the presentations, which cover everything from sexual health to self-care.
Also noteworthy about the Wellczar program is the fact that the members are so variant. Some students become Wellczars with little experience with wellness education, while others have more extensive backgrounds. For the students with little knowledge, the three presentations per quarter are essential. The most valuable moments for Grubb are those in which she realizes the impact that the Wellczar program has not only on the University as a whole, but also on the individuals who find her presentations helpful.
Sosa holds the same mentality: “My favorite thing about being a Wellczar is probably being able to learn more about the different ways we can take care of ourselves and to share that information with the rest of the House.”
Moments like these are why the Wellczar program is valuable to all students. Because of the Wellczars, students are informed about health and wellness topics they might not be familiar with. Beyond this, the Wellczars open the door to the HPW department as a whole.
“I chose to become a Wellczar because it’s really important for students to understand the resources they have available to them on campus and to have someone who can help them navigate those resources,” Sosa said. “Personally speaking, I really like being able to offer advice and support to my peers, and I felt that the program would be an effective way to do that.”