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UCSD opens on-campus wellness center aka The Zone

UCSD students gather at the opening of The Zone. Photos by Hosna Safi

By Tina Safi

Contributor

On Friday, Sept. 24, dozens of UCSD students gathered at the Price Center Plaza on campus to celebrate the opening of The Zone, the new one-stop shop for wellness services.

The event featured FlashDance Mob and highlighted some of the programs the center will be providing. Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Wellness Karen Calfas and Vice Chancellor Penny Rue were also on hand to mark the opening.

Run by the Office of Student Wellness, The Zone is the result of collaboration between the Wellness Cluster — Recreation, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Sexual Assault and Violence Prevention Resource Center, Student Health Services, and the Office of Student Wellness.

Located between Jamba Juice and the campus box office, The Zone will promote a balanced lifestyle, encouraging students to nourish their minds and bodies, and release any tension they may be experiencing. Ultimately, the center aims to serve as a form of stress relief.

“Our goal is to offer the UCSD community a space that inspires creativity, nourishes mind and body, releases tension, and creates positive social opportunities,” said Gina Tang, marketing coordinator and writer for The Zone.

According to Tang, the center is built around the concept of “serious fun.” Students can enjoy programs that fit into even the most hectic schedule, as the center offers a sampling of UCSD’s wellness services in one space. From Laughter Yoga to Tai Chi and healthful cooking classes, The Zone has something for everyone. In fact, it even offers a therapy dogs program, biofeedback, nap-ins, a drum circle and a weekly open mic.

“The Zone is definitely a welcome addition to our campus, because it is a mellow place for people to hang out and enjoy something different,” said Ahmad Aziz, a fourth-year student.

Another fourth-year student, Lydia Sieber, agreed.

“I think the center is a really great idea because it encourages students to think about something other than studying non-stop,” Sieber said. “It is nice that the university is trying to push us into considering the importance of our wellbeing.”

The Zone was constructed to showcase the connection between sustainable building practices, the environment and human health. The building features non-toxic materials such as low VOC paint and glue, formaldehyde-free wood, and sustainable, naturally harvested products.

UCSD is already well respected for its green buildings and use of solar panels on campus parking lots.

The Zone is the first Student Affairs Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design (LEED)-certified project, thanks to donations from companies such as Icestone, Numinus, LLC and San Diego Office Interiors.