Student wellbeing is complex. We’re committed to trying new initiatives to meet student needs. Some have hit the mark, others we’ve learned from, and some are still in production.
Programs We’re Trying Now
These are new programs that we’re piloting or testing with smaller groups of students to see if they work.
Overview: The Mindfulness Workshop is a new activity-based offering that introduces the concept of mindfulness, and how it can help support students’ wellbeing and help them achieve their goals. In this workshop, students try mindfulness activities that include: mindful movement, mindful eating, breath awareness meditation, and exploring the five senses.
Current Status: This program has been piloted with BU student organizations and is now available for request. Learn more about the Mindfulness Workshop and request a virtual workshop.
Programs We’re Continuing
These are programs or initiatives that met their goals and resonated with students.
Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training for CELOP Students (Fall 2018)
Overview: BU requires that all students complete a Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training; however, this training was not deemed a good fit for Center for English Language & Orientation Programs (CELOP) students. We partnered with CELOP to adapt the required training so that their students can more easily understand the content.
What Worked: The post-training survey showed that nearly all students (96%) understood most or all of the training, including definitions for sexual misconduct and related terms, cultural norms, and different types of on-campus resources.
Current Status: We are still offering this training in partnership with CELOP.
Marathon Monday Pit Stop (Spring 2018)
Overview: There are not many places to socialize and watch the Boston Marathon that are substance-free. The Pit Stop offered a hangout space, free bagels and water, and BU swag to students on Marathon Monday.
What Worked: 150 students passed by the Pit Stop to hangout and get some BU swag.
Current Status: We plan to offer another Pit Stop or a similar event during the next Boston Marathon.
Wellness Challenge (Fall 2017)
Overview: The Wellness Challenge is a 4-week online program. Each week, students receive an email with tips and suggestions about how to look after their wellbeing.
What Worked: Post-challenge surveys indicated that most students found the challenge helpful, provided them with actionable wellness habits to incorporate into their lives, and were reminded to take care of themselves.
Current Status: We continue to offer Wellness Challenges tailored to BU student communities. Learn more about requesting a Wellness Challenge here
Programs We’re Pausing
These are programs or initiatives that we tried, but are not currently offering.
Wellnest Mindful Journaling App
Overview: Wellnest is a new guided journaling application (app) where students make journal entries by responding to questions on topics like Navigating Life at School and Strengthening Friendships. Students can select a focus, set goals, explore topics, join community challenges, and earn in-app rewards for keeping up their mindful journaling practice.
Current Status: Boston University partnered with Wellnest to offer this resource to BU students through Fall 2021. Contract negotiations for potential continued partnership are ongoing. This offering is paused for the time being.
Wellbeing Hub Cocurricular (Spring 2019)
Overview: We created a wellbeing-focused cocurricular (Individual & Community Wellbeing, HUB CC 101) that helps undergraduate students meet new general education requirements. Our cocurricular teaches students information and skills about what wellbeing means and how to be well at BU.
What Worked: Students thought the sessions had real-life implications and tied into their personal experiences. All students were able to identify and explore individual and community wellbeing and would recommend the cocurricular to their peers.
Current Status: We are in the process of making updates to the curriculum to make the experience even better for students.
Massage Mondays at BUMC (Spring 2019)
Overview: Free 10-minute massages to students on the BU Medical Campus for four consecutive Mondays to help students de-stress.
What Worked: Nearly every time slot was used by a student, and students shared that they appreciated the offering.
Current Status: We are not currently planning another Massage Mondays series.
Week of Wellness (Spring 2019)
Overview: We tried to create a week of co-sponsored events that would introduce students to wellness resources across BU.
What We Learned: Not many students participated in the co-sponsored events held during this week. Instead of packing wellness events into one single week, we’ll continue to think about meaningful partnerships and collaboration opportunities to support students throughout the academic year.
Current Status: We are not planning to host future Weeks of Wellness.
Mental Health Awareness Campaign (Fall 2018)
Overview: We launched a poster campaign that aimed to increase awareness of Behavioral Medicine as a campus resource, normalize the experience of mental health challenges, and increase the BU community’s confidence recognizing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
What We Learned: Surveys indicated that the campaign did help achieve these goals. However, student’s feedback indicated that BU needed to take more direct action to support student mental health.
Current Status: The posters will still be available to hang in your office, residence hall, etc. and posted on campus, but we will not be investing time or resources to update or expand the campaign. Learn more about requesting the Mental Health Awareness Campaign posters.
Resume of Failure (Spring 2018)
Overview: Based off of the viral CV of Failure, we asked several staff and faculty members to write up a resume of the degree programs, awards, fellowships, etc. that they didn’t receive. The goal of this initiative was to normalize the experience of academic and professional setbacks.
What We Learned: It’s hard to get folks at BU to talk about their flops and failures. We received an insufficient reply from staff and faculty to sustain this initiative. In the future, we would consider partnering with faculty and staff to create programming they’d be comfortable participating in.
Current Status: We are no longer offering the Resume of Failure initiative.
Screw Up, Stand Up (Spring 2018)
Overview: BU students experience many pressures to excel and often feel stress when setbacks arise. Screw Up, Stand Up is a PostSecret-style tabling exhibit that aims to normalize and destigmatize the experience of personal, professional, and academic setbacks.
What We Learned: BU students have reservations about sharing their setbacks and obstacles, even when anonymous. Future resilience programming should more thoroughly consider how failure is stigmatized on BU’s campus.
Current Status: We are not planning on offering Screw Up, Stand Up in the future
Wellness Fair (Spring 2016 - Spring 2018)
Overview: The Wellness Fair aimed to provide tools and tips to improve student wellbeing, introduce students to on-campus and local wellness resources and student organizations, and empower students to be proactive and confident in caring for themselves and others.
What We Learned: Many BU colleges, schools, and departments offer similar resource fairs to help promote student wellbeing. We will continue to attend these collaborative events to share resources and facilitate activities that support student wellbeing.
Current Status: We are not planning to host future Wellness Fairs.