The School of Architecture held its second annual Wellness Fair on Friday, August 14, bringing students together for their first in-person School event since last March.
The Wellness Fair is intended to introduce students to the many University departments that promote and offer resources for student well-being. This includes architecture student organizations, which by participating in the event had an opportunity to highlight their work and encourage students to get involved. It was also the first time many students were able to meet Dean Stefanos Polyzoides in person.
“Student wellness is always a priority for the School, and this semester it has a particular emphasis,” said Stefanos Polyzoides, the Francis and Kathleen Rooney Dean of the School of Architecture. “I’m pleased that I was able to see students and faculty in a safe, socially distanced manner. Online tools have been extremely useful during the pandemic, but there is nothing that can replace in-person connections.”
The Wellness Fair took advantage of Walsh Family Hall’s beautiful outdoor spaces with the crowd divided between the terrace and courtyard to maximize social distancing. In addition to the architecture student organizations, several University partners were in attendance, including the Center for Student Support and Care, the University Counseling Center, Campus Ministry, the Gender Relations Center and GreeNDot, the McDonald Center for Student Well-Being, Multicultural Student Programs & Services, the Office of Student Enrichment, and the Office of Sustainability.
“The wellness fair is one of several ways to be informed about resources in our community,” said Megan Brown, Director of The McDonald Center for Student Well-Being. “Being knowledgeable about well-being and knowing how to access wellness resources is important all the time, but it becomes critical when we know that we are in the midst of a stressful situation or crisis. If we have this information, we can use it to prevent excessive stress and illness and intervene early when it does strike. We can also help share information about resources with others and support the well-being of our community.”
Maria Flukas, a University Care and Wellness Consultant who specifically assists architecture students, among others, came to meet some of the students in person, sharing the resources available through her office, stating, “I am so proud that ND is committed to safety as our #1 priority and we are finding new and creative ways for us to support students in their Notre Dame experience whether it be in person or virtually.”
All six Architecture student organizations attended the event, citing their support of student well-being.
“One's wellness in architecture should be a main priority,” said Taylor Schmidt ‘21, President of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS). “Having the organization partake in an event with an emphasis on wellness brings light to the matter of personal wellbeing. It helps facilitate a conversation within the student group in future meetings.”