On the Mountain
We are proud to welcome the biggest, brightest and most diverse first-year class ever to our campus and anticipate an extraordinary fall semester.
I hear repeatedly from visitors to our campus how thoughtful, respectful and engaged our students are, and we are thankful for the opportunity to prepare them for successful and sustainable post-college years. We are also appreciative of the trust you put in our staff and faculty, and we do our utmost to keep our students safe and well while they are in our care.
Just last week we celebrated our annual Safety Week, a series of events designed to educate our students on the myriad of resources available on campus and in the community to ensure their personal safety, health and wellness.
During the week, we host the annual, community-wide Walk for Awareness, a silent walk through the campus to commemorate lives lost to violence, and hold a day-long safety festival on Sanford Mall. At the festival, various university departments, clubs and community partners present events, displays and workshops to share resources beneficial to students’ well-being.
As one of our strategic initiatives, in 2015 the university created the Department of Wellness and Prevention Services to help students navigate their university years safely and successfully through education and training.
Wellness and Prevention Services takes a proactive approach to safety by promoting health awareness and active lifestyles with a holistic model that encompasses eight dimensions: emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual.
To that end, this summer Appalachian joined The Jed Foundation Campus Program (The Campus Program), which is designed to help colleges and universities assess and enhance mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention programming. Participating schools make a four-year commitment to work with The Campus Program to evaluate and identify opportunities to augment these activities on campus.
Additionally, Wellness and Prevention Services, led by Dr. Alex F. Howard, offers educational programs on topics such as nutrition, sexual health, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, stress and sleep. The goal is to provide evidence-based wellness and prevention training and education to the greatest number of faculty, staff and students, Howard said.
Our splendid fall leaf season is fast approaching and Homecoming is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 22. Please consider this a personal invitation to visit our campus sometime this fall and celebrate the young people, faculty and staff who make this such a grand community.
Sheri N. Everts