MU Wellness Resource Center celebrates move to larger office

Thursday, January 29, 2009 | 8:49 p.m. CST; updated 11:05 a.m. CST, Friday, January 30, 2009

*CORRECTION: Travis Waller is the administrative assistant for the MU Wellness Resource Center, and Julaine Kiehn is the director of Campus Dining Services. An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified them.

COLUMBIA — MU's Wellness Resource Center celebrated its recent move to a new location at 200 Bingham Commons, near Schurz Hall, on Thursday.

Although the move is temporary, the center's staff, who used to work in the basement of Brady Commons, are thankful for the extra space and windows.

“We are thrilled because it provides us the opportunity to grow our wellness programs,” said Kim Dude, director of the center

The center has been home to a variety of student-run programs including ADAPT (Alcohol Drug Abuse Prevention Team), PAWS (Peers Advocating Wellness Solutions), PASS (Peers Advocating Smoke-Free Solutions), and GAMMA (Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol). 

“It’s definitely helping our office just because we’re all together now,”said Ryan Krull, a master’s student in public health.

The offices in the basement of Brady were separated and much smaller.

“They used every inch they had downstairs in Brady, and were kind of tucked away,” said Domingo Pacheco, an MU student and 2008 director of STRIPES.

The only drawback to the space is its location away from the center of campus.  

“We’re trying to think of things that entice people to come over here,” Dude said.

Signs were positioned in front of dining halls and on campus sidewalks advertising free food, massages and pedometers for Thursday's event.

The “Relaxation Station,” fitted with a massage chair and window view, is a new addition to the center and a product of the extra floor space.  The area is among several new services the center is providing this year.  

Travis Waller, the center's administrative assistant,* coordinated the center's efforts for the move.

“It was tough and it took a lot of planning but we had a good group of people,” Waller said.

While the actual move happened in November, the grand opening was postponed until Thursday to take advantage of the new semester.

“It was easier to get students here at the beginning of the semester than when they’re thinking about finals," Waller said.

The new location became available through work by various arms of Student Affairs and is only a temporary solution until the completion of the new Student Center in 2011.

“It certainly was a challenge to find a place big enough,” Dude said.

Julaine Kiehn, director of Campus Dining Services,* heard of the center's need for a new temporary headquarters and offered up the site. The location used to be a cafeteria and had been empty for some time.

“I’m just happy to have somebody here in it," Kiehn said. "We’re just happy if the students use the space and use (the center) for good decision making."

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