CU Certified as Healthy Campus

Photo by Joel Frambes
Walking, naturally: The Certified Healthy Oklahoma program awarded both CU campuses their highest level of commendation for a healthy campus. Students and staff can safely walk around campus to exercise, get from class to class, or enjoy the natural landscaping.

Robert King
Staff Writer

Cameron University recently received recognition as a Certified Healthy Campus.

The Certified Healthy Oklahoma program recognizes post-secondary public and private schools and career technology centers that create safe and healthy environments that have positive impacts on the health of students and faculty.

Program members examined eighty-two criteria organized into categories such as alignment with missions of higher education, socioecological-based and collaborative practices, theory and evidence-based practices, cultural competency, and professional development and services.

This year’s placement marked the sixth consecutive year the Lawton campus earned the honor. CU Duncan campus also made the list for the third consecutive year.

Cameron earned the Excellence Level of Certified Healthy Oklahoma, which is the highest level in the program. The award was a collaborative effort from Oklahoma State Department of Health, the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, the Oklahoma Turning Point Council and the Oklahoma State Chamber.

These organizations use the award to recognize institutions that are leaders in prioritizing community health and wellness.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Ronna Vanderslice said that Cameron values the wellness of students, faculty and staff.

“We are hopeful that creating a healthy environment for students, faculty and visitors to our campus will ultimately impact Oklahoma as a whole, not just our campus,” she said. “We hope that as students go out and work, they take the things that they learn here at Cameron to their communities and homes.”

She added that Cameron has been creating and fostering a healthy environment, in turn making the state of Oklahoma healthier.

In 2015 Oklahoma ranked forty-five in America’s Health Rankings. Oklahoma’s poor health has affected families, future and finances. Current causes of death and disability in Oklahoma include heart disease, stroke, cancer, and type-two diabetes.

However, individuals can take precautions to help prevent these health conditions.

Cameron policies have helped the Lawton and Duncan communities do just that, providing a healthy environment for students, employees and visitors.

Vanderslice said that Cameron promotes wellness not only through policy but also with physical activities and health education on campus.

“We provide information sessions and the Aggie Mile trail around campus,” she said. “These are not policies. We invested some effort into creating the Aggie Mile so people will have a safe place to walk.”

The Aggie Rec Center encourages the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle with providing group exercise classes and exercise challenges on a daily basis. Physical activities offered include Zumba, yoga, walking and jogging, among others.

Vanderslice said that Cameron’s hope is to make a real difference in students’ lives, not only when they are on campus but also when they go off the campus.

“When students come here, they have the opportunity to learn about health and wellness,” she said. “They have a place to exercise that’s safe. They have healthy food options, and they have a tobacco-free campus.

“We hope students will start establishing some good health patterns in life.”

To learn more about physical exercise offered at Cameron, visit the Aggie Rec Center in person or at http://www.cameron.edu/aggiereccenter.

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