SLUdents take off for the fourth university wide Wellness Day

Students decorated the sidewalks outside Simon Recreation Center with chalk during their Wellness Day on Feb. 9 (Shah Shamsipour / The University News)
Students decorated the sidewalks outside Simon Recreation Center with chalk during their Wellness Day on Feb. 9 (Shah Shamsipour / The University News)
Shah Shamsipour

Students dedicated their Friday to wellness while enjoying the day off.

For SLU’s fourth Wellness Day, the university arranged 10 events ranging from an art creation station to gardening. The first wellness day was instituted in the 2022-2023 academic year to address a growing need for mental health care following the loss of two students to suicide. 

President, Dr. Fred Pestello, meets therapy dogs during SLU’s wellness day in Pius Library. (The University News / Shah Shamsipour).

Bridget Curran, a graduate assistant with the Division of Student Development, helped organize and facilitate the Mardi Gras table in front of the Simon Rec Center. Students created beaded bracelets and colored in drawings.

“We just wanted to give students the opportunity to de-stress with art and enjoy the nice weather,” Curran said.

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On the other end of the Mardi Gras wellness event, Dominic Taylor, a freshman majoring in health science, playfully crossed out his friend’s chalk art that read “CR7 is the goat,” referring to famed soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo. Taylor said he was happy to get more sleep and enjoy his lunch without any time restrictions.

In the Pius XII Memorial Library, students gathered for a meet and greet with SLU President Fred Pestello. They chatted and took pictures with Pestello until two therapy dogs from Duo Dog stole the show. Sarah McManus, a freshman studying nursing, played with Doug the dog as a way to unwind during wellness day. 

“It was very relaxing,” McManus said. “The weather was so nice, and the dogs in the library were fun, and we ran into Freddie P [A term of endearment used among SLU students for president, Fred Pestello].”

Her friend Anna Stoeckel, a freshman majoring in occupational therapy, said she enjoyed her time building a stuffed unicorn at the Stuff-A-Critter event in the Busch Student Center. 

Students Anna Stoeckel (left) and Sarah McManus (right) pose on West Pine with their stuffed animal friends provided by Student Activities Board. (The University News / Shah Shamsipour)

“It was perfect timing,” Stoeckel said of the wellness day. “Right in between a bunch of tests.”

A dozen students and some faculty attended the Seed SLU event next to Wuller Hall. They learned how to repurpose plastic bottles and containers into mini greenhouses with various plants such as Morning Glory and thyme. They will be replanted into the garden after they grow.

SLU’s Wilderness Adventure Club enjoyed the warm weather on their Wellness Day. (The University News/ Shah Shamsipour)

On the other side of the campus in front of DuBourg Hall, the SLU Wilderness Adventure Club enjoyed a picnic in the springlike breeze.

While others attended various activities, some students like sophomore Devante McFarlane, were relieved to catch up on their assignments while enjoying the near-60-degree weather.

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