CNM Joins National Partnership for Healthier Campuses

January 7, 2015 -- CNM will strive to help faculty, staff and students become healthier and more physically fit by the year 2017, thanks to a memorandum of understanding the college recently signed with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA).
July 16, 2015

CNM was one of 20 colleges and universities around the country – and the only community college – to join in the PHA Healthier Campus Initiative. PHA works with the private sector and PHA honorary chair and First Lady Michelle Obama to make opting for healthier choices easier. Its initial focus was on children in grades K-12, but it was recently expanded to include higher education.

CNM Dean of Students Rudy Garcia said that PHA approached him last year to see if the college would be interested in participating in the new Healthier Campus Initiative.

“We’ve been working towards a healthier population for the past several years and this initiative was a good fit,” Garcia said. “It’s going to be a lot of work but also a lot of fun.”

He added that PHA wants more community colleges involved in the Healthier Campus Initiative. As a result, he is helping organize a February summit in Washington, D.C., that will bring together representatives from other community colleges. The summit is designed to give them more information about the initiative.

healthy.jpgAs part of the MOU, CNM is committed to achieving goals over the next three years in the areas of food and nutrition, physical fitness and programming.

For the food and nutrition portion of the MOU, goals are for cafeteria menus to be revised to offer a minimum of one wellness meal during serving hours; to offer a minimum of three types of fruits, three types of vegetables and one 100 percent whole grain product at both lunch and dinner time; and to offer desserts at both lunch and dinner that have less than 150 calories.

This portion of the MOU will affect Sodexo, the company that operates CNM’s cafeterias and catering services, and Bistro 106, the student-run restaurant. CNM Nutrition students and faculty members will also partner with Culinary Arts students and faculty in developing a healthier catering menu.

One of CNM’s commitments in the physical fitness area is providing marked walking routes on campus that must be at least two miles in length and have distance markers at regular intervals. A walking and fitness route is currently being designed. Upon completion, a map will be made available on the CNM website. Fitness and Architectural/Engineering Drafting students are working together on the project.

Some of the other physical fitness commitments include providing designated bicycle lanes on major roads; implementing a bicycle and pedestrian recognition program; and offering without a user fee a minimum of one monthly “how to” physical activity, which will be conducted by interns in the Fitness Technician program.

In the area of programming, CNM is committed to implementing an integrated, comprehensive on-campus wellness program. Faculty will participate in a variety of wellness activities to include sessions on healthy eating on a budget.

Another commitment in the MOU is to provide service learning opportunities for students in the School of Health Wellness & Public Safety, the School of Math, Science & Engineering, and the School of Business & Information Technology. It will provide students with an opportunity to serve their community while learning more about food and nutrition, physical activity/movement, and/or coaching.

“We at CNM are determined to reach all of these goals,” Garcia said. “And when we do, we will be a model of healthiness to all community colleges.”

The other schools that joined PHA in a three-year commitment to make their campuses healthier are Arizona State University; Binghamton University; Clayton State University; Florida International University; George Mason University; George Washington University; Georgia Institute of Technology; Hampshire College; North Caroline State University; Ohio State University; Oklahoma State University; Southern University and A&M College; Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi; University of California – Los Angeles; University of Miami; University of New Hampshire; University of North Dakota; University of Oregon; and Washington University in St. Louis.