Skip to main content

Student Wellness Review

As part of our commitment to continuously improve the student experience at Laurier, our Deans of Students completed a Student Wellness Review throughout spring 2021. Our goal is to ultimately have a Campus Wellness Strategy that will guide the university over the next decade.

Wellness Across Higher Education

Across the country, students continue to share that they are struggling while at post secondary institutions. This is causing Canadian post secondary institutions to understand they have an obligation to do better and have a growing desire to do better. Supporting student mental health has moved from being at the periphery to a central component of academic success with which post-secondary staff and faculty must engage. Given the close relationship between mental health and the post secondary institution’s academic mandate, campuses would benefit from supporting the well-being of those within their campus community, students and staff included.

Faced with this growing recognition amongst post secondary institutions of the intricate connections between student wellness, academic success and broader community thriving, the Deans of Students’ Offices at both Brantford and Waterloo campuses reached out to the Laurier community and hire external consultation to better understand the state of student wellness across Laurier campuses. 

Your Voices Shape Our Vision

We worked together with you through interviews and surveys to hear your diverse voices, needs and perspectives to drive our outcomes. Your insight on student wellness will help shape our delivery of care and explore opportunities beyond traditional wellness supports to meet your changing needs. 

We are working with consultants with the goal of identifying gaps and opportunities for us to address to improve our wellness services. 

We plan to use these learnings to build on Laurier's culture of care to shape a vision and Campus Wellness Strategy, which will then be implemented spring 2022.

Key Insights

As part of this process, the design team conducted 61 in-depth interviews with 134 stakeholders and received 557 completed survey responses throughout the winter 2021 term. 184 thematic areas surfaced through the consultation process. These thematic areas were coded and leveled into 10 emerging insight areas.

Our next phase will focus on the following strategic considerations:

  • Aligning all areas of the university to prioritize and provide consistent practices around wellness
  • Acknowledging wellness as a shared responsibility by creating more clarity around what students can expect from Laurier and what is expected of students related to their own wellness
  • Identifying behaviours and initiatives that run at odds with the values and culture of the university and how they impact wellness
  • Leveraging existing partnerships and alignments to overcome systemic structures, policies and other barriers to achieve a greater and less siloed impact 
  • Developing an overarching wellness philosophy that is inclusive of the whole community, including students and employees

Read the executive summary of the report, including the emerging insight areas.

Next Steps

Guided by these key insights from your experience, feedback, and participation, we are excited to move forward with the next phase in the Wellness Review.  

In partnership with the Deans of Students Offices in Waterloo and Brantford, Unless Design Partners is spearheading the creation of a Student Wellness Design Lab at Laurier. The lab builds upon the year-long Multi-Campus Review of Student Wellness that took place throughout 2021 and seeks to:  

  • Engage students with diverse experiences in the co-creation of ideas and solutions that respond to challenges and opportunities that came to light as part of the multi-campus review 
  • Animate projects that catalyze change related to student wellness experiences at Laurier 
  • Create meaningful collisions and collaborations between campus stakeholders around student wellness initiatives 

Projects born in the lab have the potential to change the experiences of future generations of students. 

Under the mentorship of Unless Design Partners, Design Lab Assistants will work with other students on small teams throughout the term to bring wellness-related projects and initiatives to life. You’ll need to commit to: 

  • Weekly mentorship sessions in the lab (remote or in-person as per public health guidelines) with facilitators from Unless Design Partners (~1-2 hours per week)  
  • Weekly team meetings with your student colleagues to move projects forward (as determined by the teams themselves) 

Students who complete the 6-week lab, will receive: 

  • A $500 stipend 
  • Professional acknowledgment of participation 
  • Recognition on their Laurier Experience Record 
  • The opportunity to present their work to senior Laurier leaders 

If you are a student at Laurier, and would like to find out more information about the position and how to apply, you can view the job posting on Navigator (Job ID 159671).

Need More Information?