/ Bear News

The Push for an On-Campus Mindfulness Center

The psychological state of awareness, or mindfulness, is an old practice that is starting to gain more traction in education and professional settings. Many universities across the country are opening on-campus mindfulness centers or already have them - including Colorado State University.

After discussing updates and announcements, of which there were few, Student Senate members took a moment to practice their mindfulness techniques during last week's meeting.

Julia Sobczak, the councilor of the University College, had the team focus on their breathing. She told them it was not important what they did with their hands, but to make sure they were sitting upright with their feet placed firmly on the ground.

This lasted for about a minute, and Sobczak said that minute is really all it takes to enter a state of mindfulness and help reduce stress.

"We all have a minute to spare," she said.

Even though this was the second time she mentioned the need for a mindfulness center to senate, there are still many questions that need answered, such as funding.

"Sadly, most mindfulness centers have been funded by someone who is kind of old and kind of rich," Sobczak said.

But before researching funding, she says they need to gauge student interest. While there are a few other students and professors on campus pushing for a center, there needs to be evidence that other students would utilize it as well.

Sobczak has considered talking with Student Leaf as well as the Daniels Fund at the Monfort College of Business to help with funding.

"Sustainability and mindfulness come hand-in-hand," she said.

Other senate members wondered if it might be beneficial to hold public mindfulness events for students to attend before starting a center. When asked if they were looking for a room or an entire center, Sobczak stressed that they would take whatever they could get their hands on. And, she said, mindfulness can be practiced anywhere - like focusing only the act of eating a grape.

One thing Sobczak knows for certain is that visitors to the center will not be charged each time they attend.

Lacking "old" and "new" business, the meeting was adjourned shortly after. Evan Welch, the assistant dean of student life and director of the Office of Student Life, closed out the meeting with acknowledgements, expressing his sympathies about the death of Gary Dutmers, a senior news writer and editor for the university.

The next Student Senate meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. February 7 in the Council Room on the second floor of the University Center.