This year, students founded the Meditation and Wellness House, a theme house dedicated to bringing people together from a variety of spiritual paths and religious backgrounds. The 22 students who live there also share an interest in mental health and wellness.
House Manager Sophie Snyder ’23 says the house, located at 775 South Main Street, was founded to encourage learning about different cultures, perspectives and the experiences and traditions of others. Snyder explains the housing option provides a calm, peaceful environment where students can study, meditate, and generally feel at home. Once a week, Snyder hosts a virtual house meeting where students touch base and plan events.
Resident Declan Fox ’23 says the location provides an opportunity to reflect on what meditation means to himself and others. “Meditation can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people, but it helps me to become more accepting of my own thoughts. I let them come and go, and aim for a flowing mind instead of an empty mind. I interact with my thoughts instead of fighting them, and through that I am able to learn more about myself than I would have otherwise,” Fox says.
HWS also celebrated Mindfulness November with activities hosted by Student Activities and student organizations. Events including special yoga sessions, guided meditations, and activities focused on self-care and connection. The Random Acts of Kindness club hosted an evening of art therapy, in order to make space for connection and to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation during the pandemic; students participated in social bike rides around campus and the surrounding FLX region; and Chaplain Nita Byrd held a mindful eating meditation.
The Mediation and Wellness House is one of 18 theme houses at HWS, including Cultural Connections, Sustainable Living, Hope House and more, in addition to standard residence hall options.
Below is a gallery of photos showing life in the Meditation and Wellness House and mindfulness activities on campus.