The Student News Site of Trinity University


The Student News Site of Trinity University


The Student News Site of Trinity University


Previously, on SGA: Wellness, wellness, wellness


This SGA meeting was held on the 15th of November, 2023

Staff chat: Kristen Harrison, associate athletic director for recreation and sports camp; Seth Asbury, associate athletic director for facilities & event management

Harrison and Asbury briefed the SGA on their respective responsibilities to kick off the staff chat. Harrison oversees recreational organizations such as OREC and club sports. Asbury is responsible for campus sports facilities.

Currently, there are 30 club sports. Three of these clubs are new to campus this semester: pickleball, women’s water polo and archery. Harrison stated that anyone can start a new club sport. Formerly, the athletics department required club sports to compete against other institutions to maintain club status. Following Covid, Harrison simply wants students to be active, so she no longer implements the competition policy, allowing more students to form clubs based on recreational activities.

Harrison shared that at yesterday’s Turkey Trot, 55 people attended in person and approximately 20 to 25 people attended virtually, with two students participating abroad. Trinity’s five-kilometer Turkey Trot has been a Thanksgiving tradition since 1967.

For Asbury’s portion of the staff chat, he emphasized the completion of the new outdoor pickleball and basketball courts between the outdoor swimming pool and Thomas Hall. The courts formerly served as a pseudo-brickyard for construction after their original use as tennis courts. Junior Senator Joy Areola asked if lights could be added to the court. Asbury said there are streetlights, however, they were turned off by an unknown source and Asbury is looking into them getting turned on again.

Continuing the conversation of new recreational sports facilities, Asbury reported that he works under Eric Maloof, who oversees strategic planning and is vice president for enrollment management, and that their next project to replace the 10-year-old intramural field is slated for next summer. In the not-so-distant future, they also plan to replace the floors of Calgaard Gym, which are currently original from 1964, and they plan to replace the lights in the football stadium to be more energy efficient and produce less light pollution.

Among other plans, Asbury shared that he is talking with John Scherding, university architect and director of sustainability, about a Bell Center expansion, despite only being renovated five years ago. Since then, Asbury believes we have outgrown the facilities especially since not all teams have their own locker rooms yet, which is a goal for Asbury.

Junior Senator Allison Waters asked why the Prowlers dance team is not funded or supported by the athletic department. Asbury responded that the Prowlers used to be under the athletic department, but the group did not want to follow athletic policy so they formed their own student organization. Since the split, Asbury said that interaction between the team and the athletic department has been limited to the Prowlers’ halftime performance. Still, the Prowlers have access to athletic trainers for injuries.

To wrap up the chat, Asbury shared that the university is competing in the LEARFIELD Directors’ Cup, in which we placed within the top 20 last summer. Despite competing at schools with better facilities, staffing and funding, Asbury believes we will do well.

Mental Wellness Update from Marlaina Widmann, coordinator of student wellness, and Marcy Youngdahl, director of integrated counseling and health services

The SGA pledged $100,000 in August to fund the Mental Wellness Initiative, spearheaded by Widmann and Youngdahl and supported by President Vanessa Beasley. Widmann and Youngdahl presented the SGA with updates on the initiative.

While many action items have been put in progress, many action items have yet to be started as they are in the process of hiring a wellness coordinator who will be responsible for a lot of the initiative’s components. Widmann and Youngdahl shared that the hiring process is very slow at Trinity. They expected to have the position filled by Sept. 1, however, that timeline turned out to be unattainable.

While there are action items yet to be started, Widmann and Youngdahl have hired two additional Peer Health Educators (PHE). PHEs must take a wellness practicum course (PHED 2299) and they lead workshops on campus. Any organization can request a PHE-led workshop. In the future, PHEs will coordinate the dog therapy program once the wellness coordinator begins their role.

Widmann shared that the program’s outreach has expanded exponentially since she started her position 14 months ago. She has helped with events such as Mental Wellness Week and plans to start Wellness Wednesdays, which will follow a theme and work to educate students on different health-related topics.

Among other accomplishments, MANUAL, a wellness app geared toward men’s health, has kicked off on campus with usage reports showing 129 people have enrolled so far. Widmann and Youngdahl are working on creating an equitable, representative Student Wellness Advisory Board and will start a leadership team in the spring semester. The LGBTQ+ focus group will start with the new wellness coordinator, however, wellness services have already established a relationship with the PRIDE club and assisted with this year’s national coming out day.

Advisor Jamie Thompson clarified that the SGA gave money to the initiative under the assumption that all of the action items would be completed in a year, however, since the hiring process is lengthy, the initiative will likely not meet all of their goals in that time frame. Thompson said the funds will go beyond the fiscal year but will be spent in the same predetermined way and operationally nothing will be changed. Widmann and Youngdahl promised to stay transparent with the SGA on how and when they spend funds.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Rachel Oliver
Rachel Oliver, Managing Editor (fall)
My name is Rachel Oliver (she/her), and I am a junior economics major and urban studies minor. I am the managing editor, and this is my third year working for Trinitonian. Even though it takes up almost all of my free time, there's nothing else I would rather be doing!

Comments (0)

All Trinitonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *