Carnegie Mellon University
Enhancing Campus Culture

Enhancing Campus Culture (ECC) Initiatives

The Enhancing Campus Culture (ECC) Fund was created in the spring 2013 with the partnership of Student Government, the Vice Provost for Education, and the Division of Student Affairs with seed funding of $15,000 to advance prospective opportunities from the deliberative loop findings and to meaningfully influence aspects of our campus culture. A Request for Proposals (RFP) by Carnegie Mellon students, faculty, staff, and/or alumni was sought as an initiative to identify creative opportunities on issues relating to stress and personal wellness. Our aim was to pursue the proposals that best matched the needs of the campus community as conveyed at the deliberative loop event on March 19th, 2013.We received a total of nine innovative RFPs. A committee of faculty, staff, students and alumni reviewed and made recommendations to The Vice Provost for Education, the Dean of Student Affairs and the Student Body Vice President. Upon review and with further exploration, we advanced the following four:

Mental Health First Aid Training

Proposal Summary: To launch a 12-hour Mental Health First Aid course that trains members of the community (faculty, staff and students) on how to respond to mental health emergencies. Research has shown that these types of courses save lives as well as reduce the stigma of mental illness and improve mental health literacy.

Mindfulness Room

Proposal Summary: To designate a room for the purpose of quiet mindfulness. Stress can be fought by removing yourself from a stressful environment temporarily and, in doing so, gaining a larger sense of perspective. A mindfulness room would give students a peaceful place on campus to go where healthy relaxation is encouraged.

Project Smile

Proposal Summary: To improve the overall morale of the student body by utilizing random acts of kindness, fostering opportunity for frivolity on campus, and creating a "Say Something Nice campaign." Suggested random acts of kindness might include: Free Hugs Day, Smile for a Cookie Day, Blow a Bubble Day, etc.


Proposal Summary: To implement a new course to help students understand the unique demands of life at CMU and to instill healthy ways to manage challenges. This course would help students develop proactive strategies towards managing issues related to college life and personal well-being. Ultimately, the goal of this course is to ease the transition to life at CMU and build a thriving undergraduate experience. For more information about this course, please contact the instructor Angie Lusk (

In our shared commitment to uphold the high standards of the Carnegie Mellon educational experience, we thank all those that worked so diligently to submit proposals. As we aspire to further develop a supportive environment for all members of our community, we appreciate your collective visions on how to best promote a climate of well-being for our campus.

Amy Burkert, Vice Provost for Education
Gina Casalegno, Dean of Student Affairs
Meela Dudley, Student Body Vice President