Members of the University of Vermont’s Wellness Environment (WE) have a different idea about how to celebrate 4-20, a day (April 20) many college students use to flaunt marijuana laws: They’re using the occasion to promote healthy choices by staging a 5K run. More than 700 students, faculty and staff have already registered for the race. Organizers expect 1,000 to participate.
Community members are also invited join the run. All participants will receive a WE t-shirt.
“We want to come together to celebrate wellness on a day when others choose to make other kinds of decisions,” said Jim Hudziak, a faculty member in UVM’s Larner College of Medicine who is the creator and director of the WE program. “We don’t judge those other decisions, but we want to offer an opportunity for students to make the healthy choice."
The Wellness Environment is a substance-free living community on the UVM campus that incentivizes students to create a healthy lifestyle and shows the impacts of good and bad decisions on the brain through a neuroscience course called Healthy Brains, Healthy Bodies.
Its enrollment has increased by 10-fold in the two years since it was launched. Next fall, 1,200 students are expected to be part of WE, making up nearly 25 percent of UVM’s on-campus student population.