New Raider Reflection Room creates space for mindfulness and meditation
Monday, April 10, 2023
Written by: Carla Peterson
Photo (L-R) -Nicole Sotak, Online Services Librarian, Marshall Bryant, Adaptive Technology Specialist in Disability Support Services, Jason Anfinsen, Associate Librarian, Research and Instruction, Mauricio Garcia, Assistant Director, Student Life, Margo Weaver, Coordinator, Disability Support Services Wellness and Support, Ross Martin, Outreach Librarian, Mercedes Bermejo, Interim Director, Holistic Student Support, and Jan Lloyd-Lesley, Associate Vice President, Student Development.
On April 5, Seminole State Library and Disability Support Services teamed up to open the Raider Reflection Room in the Sanford/Lake Mary library. The room is geared towards reflection: a space to relax, exercise mindfulness and any other centering practices for both students and faculty.
After the Foundation for Seminole State College approved a $2,000 grant for the Raider Reflection Room, library and disability support staff partnered to put the plan into action. It started with a thought Associate Librarian Jason Anfinsen said, “There is a need for a space like this on a college campus. A safe, inclusive space for faculty, staff and students alike to decompress, meditate, pray or reflect, while studying at Seminole State.”
The College’s library has continually proven to be a valuable resource for the campus and all that step foot here. Not only for in-person engagement, but online and community events as well. Underlying all the great activities like Lunchbrary and Nightbrary, there was a need for a safe space to unplug and connect with oneself. “The space is meant for something else that is not studying. It will also add to the robust culture of the library, and the fellowship the students gravitate to,” said Online Services Librarian Nicole Sotak.
The space was created in favor of intellectual health and wellness at Seminole State. Although the concept of a relaxation and mindfulness room is not new to universities, it is one of the earliest in our local college system. Traditional tables and monitors were taken out, and the space was painted differently for ambiance and relaxation. A soothing sound machine, waterfall feature, yoga mats and many other items were included to further enhance the experience. Margo Weaver, the wellness and support coordinator from Disability Support Services said, “We have people with autism, anxiety, and persons who are sensitive to stimuli. They can become overloaded by sensory exposure and the room would be a calming space.”
The hope is to drive more people to the library, to be more inclusive to other religions and individual needs, and to provide a designated area for tranquility. This completely collaborative idea has finally come to fruition and all the people involved, from the interior design students’ suggestions to the facilities team members who painted, so many voices were essential for the creation of the Raider Reflection Room. The room can be reserved in the library webpage for 30 minute increments and it is located on the second floor of the Sanford/Lake Mary library.
The Office of Disability Support Services (DSS) at Seminole State offers college constituents equity and excellence in education. By working with students, faculty and staff on all Seminole State campuses, DSS ensures that appropriate academic adjustments are made to give all students equal opportunities inside the classroom and around campus.About Seminole State
Seminole State College of Florida, established in 1965, serves more than 25,000 students across six sites in Central Florida. A full-service education provider, Seminole State has thrived by adapting to and meeting the needs of an ever-changing, vibrant community. Seminole State offers 11 bachelor’s degrees in high-demand, high-growth fields; two-year associate degrees; specialized certificates; continuing professional education; adult education and guaranteed admission via DirectConnect to UCF® to the University of Central Florida for Associate in Arts (A.A.) graduates. By offering flexible, affordable, high-quality educational programs and services, the College continues to help students learn, succeed and GO Far. For more about Seminole State, visit seminolestate.edu.
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