Hello my Bruin Movers and Shakers! I hope you are all getting the rest you deserve during this Spring Break and are ready for some amazing things we have in store for you during Spring Quarter!
Most students, staff, and faculty would agree that UCLA’s campus is gorgeous. However, most of us spend our time zooming through from one stop to the next. There are few outdoor spaces that invite us to destress and get moving. And sometimes the gym isn’t quite the right place to just relax or get moving for five minutes to kickstart the rest of your day. Well, we’ve got news for you!
HCI’s MoveWell pod is collaborating with BEWell to activate the Court of Sciences North and will launch activities starting at the beginning of Spring Quarter. More specifically, beginning on April 3rd, Mindful Music will play at noon on a monthly basis. And beginning April 5th, every Thursday at noon will now be dubbed ThursYAYs. Every ThursYAY in the Court of Sciences, UCLA REC and MoveWell will bring in loads of movement equipment, including yoga mats, ping-pong tables, a giant Jenga set, and sidewalk chalk, in order to help the students, staff, and faculty all across campus add a little more movement to their day or have an area just to relax with friends, just with a little more fun!
The pilot activation project includes adding and revising some of the landscape, adding some “connected” furniture as well as providing a storage unit for the games and equipment UCLA REC will provide for noon activities. This project was facilitated by pod leaders of BEWell and MoveWell, Renee Fortier and Angelia Leung, respectively. Leung says, “the Court of Sciences is a great space that could be really used well,” and explains that they created this project because they wanted to “utilize underused spaces that the campus community typically just walks through.” Fortier says that “with 75,000 people on 419 acres, the campus can’t really afford for these spaces to just be pass through spaces. We need to make these spaces active, alive, and contribute to the health and well-being of the campus.”
The Court of Sciences North was specifically chosen as a starting point because it has “a lot of people passing through but the space itself has very little in the way for amenities that could give people a chance to pause from studies, work, or stresses,” Fortier explains. “We wanted to give students, staff, and faculty a place to relax, to sit down and talk with colleagues, [to] meditate, or [to do some] impromptu nerf ball tossing.”
The ultimate goal is to have a place to help individuals deal with the fast-paced life of a college campus, whether by “being alone, to sit and meditate and relax, or engaging and being social,” Fortier says. Similarly, Leung shares that HCI as a whole wants to inspire the campus to “go beyond the sedentary habits” and “know when it’s time to get up and stretch or get out of the room and take a little walk to destress for two minutes.” By activating this space, HCI hopes to draw more attention to how easy it is to incorporate small breaks into one’s everyday life to help reduce stress and combat sedentary habits. We hope that many activations will follow all over campus that would include more fun activities!
Get ready for some de-stressing activities coming at you in the Court of Sciences! Later in the quarter, there will even be a kickoff event on Tuesday, May 1st, from 11:30 am – 1 pm, when HCI will celebrate this new initiative to transform the Court of Sciences into an inviting space for healthy activity and social engagement. Come join the fun, where there will be free food, prizes, games, fitness assessments, and more!
Your Thursdays will be looking like ThursYAYs!
Tiffany Hu is an undergraduate student at UCLA majoring in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics. She is a blogger for Move Well of the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative. She is the Assistant Commissioner of the Student Wellness Commission and the Special Projects and Alumni Coordinator of the UCLA Care Extender Internship.