This year, ASLMU, as part of LMU's new Wellness Initiative, launched an event named Wellness Wednesdays to Lawton Plaza every week from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and students have not been disappointed.
Wellness Wednesdays’ goal is to allow students a multitude of ways to contribute to their own mental wellbeing and health. “The idea was to have continuous wellbeing programming happening,” said Briana Maturi, the coordinator of the Wellness Initiative.
This Wednesday, the project included booths from several local vendors and farmers, giant "Jenga," picnic blankets, lawn chairs, board games, bracelet making, coloring books and a huge Connect Four. In addition, several on-campus organizations joined in on the fun to promote their own wellness initiatives. Test scantrons were handed out for free and LMU Residence Hall Association had come up with a pamphlet on managing midterms.
In addition, the FitWell Center came to spread the word about Sunset Yoga and Beyond Burns Boot Camp. Both are monthly fitness events that take place on the Bird’s Nest Lawn and O’Malley Lawn, respectively. In addition, FitWell was using the time to promote their annual Think Pink Fun Run which is available to students for $10 and will take place on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 10 a.m.
Emma Daly, a sophomore undeclared major, thinks Wellness Wednesdays is a “really, really good idea.” While eating shoyu chicken she had purchased from one of the vendors, she discussed how she believes the idea will really take off once more students are aware. “I don’t think it was properly promoted,” she said, but added that “I hope that they continue it.” Her advice for students is to bring cash so that they can enjoy any food or products they may be interested in purchasing.
Vendors sold food including hummus, tamales, unique nuts and pastries, as well as jewelry and bars of soap. Among students, the hummus was the most well-loved.
“I tried four of the hummuses and they were the best four hummuses I’ve ever tried,” said Angelo DeRosa, a senior psychology major.
Delaney Freud, a sophomore history major, also enjoyed the hummus enough to purchase some for herself.
Freud likes that the market is taking place on campus because it allows the event to be accessible to students without a car. It also offers a way for students to purchase fresh produce while supporting local vendors, giving students a break from campus food while supporting the larger community.
The vendors give away a plethora of free samples, and a lot of it was food students had never tried. “They’re dishing me all sorts of samples and the food is super good,” said DeRosa. He sampled crunchy corn and coconut-almonds, and I got to sample a piece of matcha bread.
According to Maturi, Wellness Wednesdays is “open to all kinds of ideas,” so Registered Student Organizations are encouraged to partner with ASLMU and the Wellness Initiative to contribute to the project. In future weeks Wellness Wednesdays will continue to have games and vendors and are hoping to add new elements to the mix, including yoga.