UpliftSHU is a student-run mental health club that upholds their tenets of mindfulness, community and empowerment, according to their Instagram.
Elizabeth Rauchet, a sophomore English major and president of UpliftSHU, described the club as a “resource other than CAPS on campus that people can go to if they want to talk to somebody or find a way to lessen their anxiety from schoolwork.”
Priya Patel, a former Seton Hall student who serves as the chair of UpliftSHU, started the club last semester after attending the SKY Campus Happiness Retreat, a college-based program of a larger organization called The International Association for Human Values.
Prior to the club’s founding, Patel said she held meditations on campus with librarians, Active Minds and the Psychology Club to help students get in touch with themselves.
Rauchet said she attended the retreat with Patel, where they learned the “SKY Practice,” which is a breathing technique to lessen anxiety.
Rauchet said she “fell in love with the practice” and that it is something she wanted to spread across campus. Patel shared similar sentiments and said she wanted to “bring this to my family.”
Patel said UpliftSHU is a “comprehensive approach to mental wellbeing” and that she wanted to create a space where students felt more accepted, loved and productive through breathing techniques. She added that she wants the club to be a “solid foundation” and support system for students to fall back on.
“UpliftSHU’s goal is to provide a tangible, evidence-based, highly researched tool to each and every student to help support their mental wellbeing,” Patel said. “Eventually, the goal is to offer it as a credited course like [at] Yale and UC Berkeley.”
UpliftSHU hosts weekly 30-minute meditations and themed meetings once a month about topics like the law of attraction and self-love.
The club has also hosted the SKY Campus Happiness Retreat and events like “Paint and Mediation,” Rauchet said.
She also said the organization brings in people that dedicate their lives to teaching others about meditation and mindfulness.
Madeline Sears, a senior psychology major and secretary for UpliftSHU, said she has been practicing yoga and meditation before joining the club.
Since joining, Sears said she “learned the benefits of doing [yoga and meditation] with other people.”
Sears said, “It expands my awareness and makes the experience more enjoyable because we sit and talk about it after.”
Sears said the goal for this year is to get more people involved.
“More people learning the power of their breath… you control your experience,” Sears said. “You control your thoughts. You can change the outlook of any situation you're in.”
Renee Samuel, a junior biology major and vice president of UpliftSHU, said students should join because the process of healing and taking the time to look within yourself is not something people do enough.
“I feel like if you do dedicate…and make it a habit, you’re really letting yourself mature as a person and grow into becoming this person you never thought you could be,” Samuel said. “If we focus on these small processes instead of these quick fixes and instant gratification, people can elevate themselves.”
Bianca Stover can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.