Wellness Day has become one of the most unique events on the Brock University calendar during the last 15 years.
Staff can take part in close to 60 workshops meant to break up the summer grind and promote physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, environmental, occupational and financial wellness.
“It allows employees to participate in various events that (are different),” said Zoe Vulic, Brock Human Resources manager of health management and wellness. “Their morning sessions could be entirely different from their afternoon sessions. They could be playing hockey in the morning and attending a spirituality workshop in the afternoon.”
This year was Vulic’s second co-ordinating the event.
“Overall, employees are very thankful for the day,” she said. “It’s a day there’s little or no cost to them. Human Resources runs the events and funds the event. Employees are very engaged after and thankful the employer considers them to that extent to provide a day like today.”
In addition to the workshops, two registered massage therapists set up to provide complimentary chair massages, a DJ played music during lunch in the Market, and there was a Penny Sale where prizes were donated by senior administration and local businesses.
Proceeds from the penny sale go to the Brock Wellness Award, which was created last year. The scholarship is presented to the student(s) who demonstrate a commitment to wellness within their community.
This year was the first organizers raised money to help offset the costs of the workshops and lunch. Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (gold), Mercer (gold) and Shepell (silver) combined to donate $2,500.
“It’s highly critical. It’s crucial almost,” Vulic said. “We are attempting to run the day being mindful of the position of the University and being respectful of the (financial) goals our senior leadership has to achieve. We’re trying to run the day in a cost-conscientious way, so sponsorship has definitely impacted that in a positive way.”
During a morning plenary in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, Brock President Jack Lightstone and Vice-President of Finance and Administration Brian Hutchings both spoke of maintaining a healthy balance of work and wellness, encouraging employees to take advantage of activities to improve physical, mental and spiritual health both at work and at home.
“If hard work is the only thing in your life, that’s not good for you, and that’s not good for Brock, Lightstone said.
Lightstone, Hutchings, Neil McCartney (Provost and Vice-President Academic) and Gary Libben (Vice-President Research) took part in the social media-fueled ALS Ice Bucket Challenge just after 12 noon out front of Schmon Tower.
The senior administrators were responding to a challenge issued to them earlier in the day by Human Resources staff. Afterwards, Lightstone challenged Niagara College President Dan Patterson and his Vice-Presidents to do the same.
Hutchings also announced early Wednesday that Brock employees are allowed to wear jeans all next week. It’s the final chance for faculty and staff to prepare for the 2014-15 fall/winter term.