'Walk with the President' promotes campus exercise
Grand Valley State University hosted its annual “Walk with the President” event Friday, Oct. 13.
University President Thomas Haas led a group of students, faculty and alumni on a two-mile walk through GVSU’s Allendale Campus. Starting in between the Cook Carillon Tower and the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons, Haas and the participants journeyed through the campus on a mild fall morning.
The event was sponsored by GVSU's "Exercise is Medicine on Campus," a group comprised of faculty and students from exercise science, Campus Recreation and the Campus Health Center. Exercise is Medicine is an initiative that is managed by the American College of Sports Medicine to promote healthy lifestyles on campus. Amy Gyorkos, supervisor for GVSU Exercise is Medicine, opened the event.
“We’re here to celebrate exercise and come together as a community,” she said, speaking to a sprawling crowd. “This campus offers so many ways to be physically active.”
After Gyorkos, Haas took the stage to speak about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, particularly when coping with the rigors of higher education.
“This is all about wellness, but there’s also a sense of collegiality and coming together,” Haas said. “One of the best decisions I think we’ve made in the past years was to enhance the Recreation Center with all of its activities. One of the things that I’ve known throughout my entire life is that whether it be recreation, or sport or just living a healthy lifestyle, it does enhance the quality of your life itself.
“And I think that’s so important. Part of that, of course, is coming together like we are today. But that individual activity that we are engaged with to help us with the mental capacities that we need at work, in play, I think that’s (the best).”
After the walk, Haas was happy not only with the turnout and the message of physical fitness that was sent, but the coming together of the GVSU community as well.
“I think what we really see here is two things,” Haas said. “One, people getting together because we are a university that really enjoys each other’s company. We have this event, year (after) year now, where we can take the opportunity to be with one another and also enjoy a walk around a campus, and it’s absolutely beautiful.
“I think you have the wellness, which is a way that we can actually enable the quality of life that we want. ... At the end of the day, wellness helps us with creating the opportunities for all of us to succeed.”
Exercise is Medicine’s next event will be the “Bring Your Own Beta (BYOB) Bouldering Competition" Saturday, Oct. 21, at the GVSU Fieldhouse. Registration costs $20 before the date of the competition and $25 the day of. For additional information, contact the Climbing Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.