There’s a new space on campus at Cambrian that’s making student life a little easier.
Visiting the Library’s Zen Den for the first time, Business student Shannon Saville-Lopez was impressed. “There are other quiet places on campus where you can study or do some work, but sometimes you need a place where you can take a break from all of that,” she said. “I can see myself coming here to play a game or just unwind, which will help on long days.”
The relaxed “living-room” setting has a calm, comfortable and refreshing feel, something students can appreciate.
“It feels like I walked into my room at home, and I’m not even at school right now,” observed Civil Engineering student Daniel Prevost. “I feel like I’m in my own special place; it’s a good place to transition for what’s coming next,” he added.
As part of its 2015-2019 Strategic Plan, Cambrian committed to enrich the student experience, and one strategy is to support mental wellness.
The Zen Den space is a collaboration between Cambrian’s Library and the First Generation Student Advising program (FGEN) that supports this strategy.
Inside this relaxed setting, students will find:
- three SAD lamps (light therapy boxes) to ease or prevent symptoms seasonal-affective disorder, which is a form of depression that occurs in fall and winter
- a northern nature-themed mural
- a canoe book shelf with books and magazines for recreational reading
- an iPad where students can self-identify as a First Generation learner in order to get extra resources to support their success in school
- study carrels and open tables for games, studying, reading, or relaxing
- bean bag chairs
- a whiteboard wall for creative expression
- a smaller whiteboard for motivational quotes
- games and puzzles
This new space was designed in collaboration with students, based on feedback about the spaces help them relax, de-stress and take care of themselves while they’re on campus.
The Zen Den officially opened on January 25 in conjunction with Bell Let’s Talk Day across Canada. Cambrian is supportive of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign because the College supports mental wellness and seeks to end the stigma surrounding mental illness. In addition, Cambrian is also a past recipient of support from the Bell Community Fund.