June 17th, 2024

U of L invests in spaces to improve mental health


By Lethbridge Herald on January 27, 2023.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman University of Lethbridge students try out a giant chess game displayed during the launch of R.E.C. rooms at the University Hall atrium on Thursday.

Alejandra Pulido-Guzman – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – apulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The University of Lethbridge has introduced an initiative to improve the mental health of those on campus, by creating REC rooms in different areas accessible to everyone. 

R.E.C. is an acronym for Refresh, Energize, Connect. And the idea behind those rooms is to give students an opportunity to socialize while taking a break from the stresses of university life. 

The REC rooms are a joint initiative funded by the University of Lethbridge and created in consultation with the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union, Student Affairs and in collaboration with Agility, Horns Recreation and the University Library. 

“We thought about the different kinds of spaces and we wanted activities that would bring people together, so that’s kind of how we thought about the kinds of activities, materials and games we wanted to bring together in these spaces,” said Mark Slomp, executive director of student services. 

He said the rooms will be equipped with a variety of activities, including quiet pursuits like puzzles, a giant chess board, virtual reality games, digital games and art murals, Indigenous games, as well as some active games such as ping pong, foosball, air hockey and giant Jenga.  

Some of the games were on display at the University Hall atrium during the launch on Thursday and many were attracted to them, as the room was buzzing with lots of people engaged in the different activities. 

William Baliko, a student in his final year of a Bachelor of Fine Arts studio art degree was one of the students enjoying the activities on Thursday and said he loved the idea of having them around campus. 

“The whole idea of having it out and about, easy to access, is a lot of fun. I think it’s really important to have them, especially after COVID, more social opportunity and stuff that is aimed at facilitating making that student engagement happen between students,” said Baliko.

He said that for him as an artist where a lot of his work revolves around human connection and how people interact, it is great to see a space at an institution designed for it. 

“It’s really exciting and it’s been a lot of fun,” said Baliko. 

The R.E.C. Rooms will be open for activity on Feb. 1. 

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