The mission of the Healthy Campus Initiative (HCI) is to cultivate a culture and environment of health and well-being that is supportive of individuals and groups in pursuit of their optimal potential. This mission can only be accomplished through the outstanding efforts of our campus partners. Some examples include:
A guiding principle of the HCI is to develop opportunities to engage students across their lifespan at the University. By partnering with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, the mission and purpose is shared with prospective students and families even before they have committed to attend. Print materials and the tour guide staff incorporate our messaging into campus visits. Health and wellness are top priorities for Binghamton University.
CSA Farm Share:
Our on-campus CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Farm Share offerings began in 2019. Binghamton University is partnering this year with Russell Farms. Since 1984, Russell Farms has been providing premier local produce to the Endless Mountain Region and expanding to the Southern Tier of New York. Russell Farms serves local restaurants, schools and businesses with fresh local produce and other specialty items each season. The produce you receive from Russell Farms CSA is picked off the farm the day before you receive it. Because they have been farming for over 20 years, Russell's has established great connections with highly skilled local farmers who they collaborate with. This allows for a more extensive variety of local fruits and veggies throughout the season. Russell Farms also is the only CSA in the area that includes specialty items in their weekly shares. They have a full service scratch bakery in Montrose producing homemade baked goods, snack and trail mixes as well as include local cheese, farm fresh cage free brown eggs and more!
There are several CSA Farm Share options in the Broome County area. We encourage everyone to explore the many different farms that participate and consider joining one. A few are certified organic, many others offer specialty items to their customers.
Exercise is Medicine:
The Exercise is Medicine® On campus (EIM-OC) is a global health initiative aimed at bridging the gap between healthcare providers and campus fitness professionals to promote physical activity to populations of the university community who are failing to participate in recommended doses of physical activity. EIM-OC uses physical activity to address chronic diseases and a growing number of mental health issues, through appropriately prescribed exercise.
The EIM-OC program serves Binghamton University students, faculty and staff by providing: free comprehensive fitness consultations with an EIM exercise professional, personalized physical activity programming guidelines tailored to the client's choice of environment and exercise preferences and a referral to other appropriate wellness resources or professionals on campus when needed.
Research shows that developing and practicing gratitude can noticeably improve your overall well-being and outlook on life. The HCI has curated handouts and worksheets containing helpful information and tips for practicing gratitude that you can use in your classrooms, programs, and/or offices.
Health and Wellness Incentive Reimbursement Pilot Program:
This pilot program allows University benefit-eligible faculty and staff* (temporary hourly University employees are not eligible for this program) to apply for a 50 percent reimbursement of their FitSpace fitness membership fee after completing a set number of exercise sessions.
Located next to Old Digman Hall, we have created a mindful meditation labyrinth where students and staff can slow down, walk the spiral path and relax.
Mental Health First Aid:
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) teaches individuals how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. We train lay or "ordinary people" to be more prepared to assess for risk of suicide or harm, listen nonjudgementally, give reassurance and resources, encourage appropriate professional services, and encourage self help and support strategies. Everyone in regular contact with students has an important role in the effort to foster student well-being, in helping to protect students from developing mental health issues and in helping student access services that they would benefit from.
MHFA training is a sustainable, collaborative, skill-building approach to changing the overall health culture of our campus and positively impacting the student mental health epidemic. Several classes are taught each semester and use a blended learning format, including pre-course work and 6-8 hours of in-person training.
The mission of the Mindset Mentors program is to help reveal resilience by providing tools and strategies to develop a powerful and positive mindset.
Binghamton University and Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS) have collaborated on a nutrition initiative called "Plus1," an easy way to add just one healthy food or drink option a day.
Steps to B-Healthy:
Walking is an easy and effective way to increase activity levels, manage stress and encourage camaraderie. Participants in this free program compete in monthly contests and receive rewards for meeting step goals. Healthier students, faculty and staff mean a healthier University. There are a number of walking trails on campus. As part of our Partnership for a Healthier America initiative, HCI installed mileage signs every .2 miles around the "brain" and "extended brain."
Tobacco and Smoke-Free:
Binghamton University is a tobacco and smoke-free campus. The use of all tobacco products is prohibited on all University property. For more information, as well as a list of tobacco cessation resources, visit the tobacco-free website.
Well-being in the Classroom:
Faculty and staff can play a pivotal role in supporting student well-being both inside the classroom and in ways outside of their academics. In both cases, supporting students professionally, fostering social connections with peers, or encouraging students to become more resilient makes a difference. Well-being is multidimensional, and while the classroom is an academic setting, there is also room to address individual lifestyle factors and afford students the opportunities and resources to develop a foundation that will support their well-being long after graduation. Visit the web page linked below for ways to implement more well-being strategies into your classroom!