Taking a Peak into the Future of Campus Wellness

Sydney Wang ’25 in News | September 9, 2023

Dr. Rae Chresfield, the newly appointed Dean of Campus Wellbeing, was officially welcomed into the Lawrenceville community in July of this year. Chresfield will be working closely with Student Council Wellness Representative Cassie Dillard ’24 to improve student wellness on campus. Chresfield and Dillard have already discussed extensively Lawrenceville’s health and wellness policies. Chresfield emphasized the importance of gaining a better understanding of Lawrenceville and its students before she can work effectively towards making wellbeing “more meaningful [for] students at [the School].” Taking long walks around campus has helped Chresfield “learn more about campus culture while meeting students.” Chresfield’s goal is to redefine “wellbeing” from a student perspective. “This way, we are all talking about the same things and then creating interventions… based on what students actually see themselves needing,” she explained, “By the end of this year, what I’m hoping to do is something like [baking] a cake, with students, faculty, and staff coming together to form the different layers.” Chesfield hopes to initiate more open and engaging discussions about “making campus wellbeing a meaningful experience.” Dillard echoed a similar sentiment: “The thing with Lawrenceville is that it’s a really big institution, so when it comes to wellbeing, a lot of people have to step up for that deep rooted change to happen,” she said. Her goal for this year is to work with Chresfield on implementing changes in policy that she believes would improve student wellbeing, such as making Narcan more accessible and creating sign-up portals on Sentinel for counseling sessions. Both Chresfield and Dillard emphasized the importance of receiving input from the student body and involving the larger Lawrenceville community on matters of campus wellness. Specifically, Dillard plans on having the Wellness Council collect feedback from students. In doing so, she can gain a better understanding of what students feel would be “productive programming” for their wellbeing, whether it be taking nature walks or attending yoga sessions. “I want more people to reach out because I’m here as a liaison between the student body and the adults… I’m willing to fight for any cause if you would come to me with your stories or problems,” Dillard said. Likewise, Chresfield has noted that she will be “leaving her door open” for students that wish to engage in conversations with her regarding what they feel are important topics on campus.