OSU introduces new Mindfulness Living Learning Community in McNary Hall

The second floor of the McNary Residence Hall houses the new Mindfulness Living Learning Community. The LLC is partnered with Counseling and Psychological Services and the School of Psychological Sciences to offer in-hall meditations, monthly workshops and several classes over the course of the year. 

By: Arianna Schmidt News Contributor

LLC promotes academic, social success among residents.

Oregon State University, in cooperation with University Housing and Dining Services and Counseling and Psychological services, has developed the Mindful Living Program for this school year. The overall program includes a Mindfulness Living Learning Community, which is one of only three in the country, and the Mind Spa, a space through CAPS dedicated to helping students with their mental health and well-being.

The new Mindfulness LLC has been introduced to the second floor of McNary Residence Hall. In general, an LLC aims to promote either academic or social success within a residential community. This new LLC is based around mindfulness, especially in regards to mental health and spirituality. 

The Mindfulness LLC focuses on building empathy, hope, compassion, mind-body practices and contributing to others through service, according to Ben Medeiros, assistant director of University Housing and Dining Services Residential Education.

“The goal for the LLC is to provide a holistic education that includes traditional and non-traditional teaching and practices, supporting self-awareness and enabling students to relate to the world in deeper ways,” Medeiros said in an email.

According to Brad Young, residential director of McNary Residence Hall, the lounge on the second floor of McNary was updated with new paint and furniture, which includes a set of meditation pillows and cushions.

“The Mindfulness LLC offers weekly in-hall meditation and monthly workshops hosted by faculty and staff across campus,” Young said via email.

The residents who live on the second floor of McNary and are part of the Mindfulness LLC are very close, according to Young.

“The common interest of mindful living and meditation has really helped them bond,” Young said in an email. “Plus, they have an amazing resident assistant who has done a great job of bringing the community together. The floor is certainly active and involved in everything we do in McNary.”

In regards to the Mindfulness LLC, UHDS partners with Counseling and Psychological Services and the School of Psychological Sciences, according to Young. Due to this partnership, the LLC has a specialized location in CAPS dedicated to serving similar purposes as the LLC, called the Mind Spa.

According to Dr. Emelyne Woessner, a licensed psychologist at CAPS, the Mindfulness LLC and the CAPS Mind Spa both fall under the umbrella of the Mindful Living program. This program also includes drop-in mindfulness groups, ongoing mindful living workshop series and other events exploring mind-body practices.

“The Mind Spa is a sanctuary where students can explore various forms of relaxation, mindfulness and wellness practices,” Woessner said via email. “It includes a full body massage chair, light therapy, biofeedback and guided meditation software, a library and space for meditation or yoga.”

The many aspects of the Mind Spa have been put into place to help teach different aspects of mindfulness and relaxation, according to Woessner.

“Our biofeedback equipment consists of finger sensors that measure users’ heart rate coherence and skin conductivity,” Woessner said in an email. “Users practice relaxation and mindfulness skills and can get real-time information on how these practices are impacting them physiologically.”

Students, staff and faculty that are interested in the biofeedback equipment can schedule a brief orientation with CAPS student workers, according to Woessner. These and regular Mind Spa appointments are scheduled by contacting the CAPS front desk either by phone at 737-2131 or stopping by the CAPS front desk. 

More information on CAPS and the Mind Spa can be found on the CAPS webpage, or by visiting CAPS in 500 Snell Hall. CAPS is open Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m..

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