10 Years Later, Wellness InSTALLments Continue to Educate Students on All Things Health and Wellness Oriented


Jessica Piland

Monthly Wellness InSTALLments are featured in 173-bathroom stalls and can be found at 17 locations across campus.

Veronica Amador, Staff Writer

The Wellness InSTALLments posted in bathrooms all around campus are widely recognized by the FGCU community. This convenient, accessible newsletter has been running for over ten years.

In 2012, Chelsea Cicero, a former FGCU student and peer educator, attended the NASPA General Assembly, a peer education conference in Orlando. This is where she got the idea for the bathroom newsletter from another university. Cicero took this concept of newsletters, often used in traditional residence halls, and wanted to implement it on FGCU’s main campus. 

Working with the vice president of Student Affairs and the FGCU Physical Plant for project approval, Peers Care debuted their first InSTALLment in July 2013 to rave reviews. 

The monthly Wellness InSTALLments are featured in 173-bathroom stalls and can be found at 17 locations across campus. 

“FGCU Peer Wellness has attended [the conference] every year since 2011, with the exception of this past October due to Hurricane Ian,” Director of Prevention and Wellness Nikki Kirdahy said. “It is a great opportunity for Peer Education groups to get together and share their ideas.”

Kirdahy said they always seek creative ways to connect with FGCU students on wellness topics. New Wellness InSTALLments will appear at the start of each month. 

The newsletters are written by peer educators and go through a final edit before publication. Peer educators work to provide students with information so they can be informed consumers and have resources as they make decisions about their health.

Wellness topics are brought up through conversations throughout the department when there’s a noticeable need to talk about a specific subject. For example, the topic of the March newsletter was Fentanyl.  

“We were like, ‘hey peers, we really want someone to write about this. Is anyone interested?’ And so, we provided the topic and saw if someone wanted to do it,” Brittany Hensley, Peer Education Coordinator, said. “Most of the time, they decide to sign up for a month to write for. They pick the topic as long as it ties into one of the eight dimensions of wellness.”

The eight dimensions of wellness are occupational, financial, emotional, intellectual, environmental, physical, spiritual, and social.

The InSTALLments feature a “Question of the Month” for a chance for students to win $10 Eagle Dollars and occasional other prizes. Every month, there’s a new question and a new possibility to win.

“We do the QR code because installments are a passive form of education, so it’s not like tabling and presentations where we have the student with us in front of us and can interact both ways,” Hensley said. “They are also there to gauge who’s interacting with our installments. We wanted to be like who are we getting involved kind of response.”  

FGCU psychology student Taylor Levin says she often sees them and glances through the newsletter. After learning about the monthly raffle, she is eager to read further into them.

“If you’ve been reading them for a while, you probably noticed we did a rebranding. So, they used to look different,” Hensley said. “Our February InSTALLment, if I’m not mistaken, was probably the launch of our new Canva template.” 

Before, they were using a publisher template. The decision to redesign was brought up with the idea that not everyone knew it was Peers Care doing the Wellness InSTALLments. 

“We got people who say I see those in the bathroom, but I didn’t realize that it was you,” Hensley said. “We rebranded it to put Peers Care at the top, just to highlight who is putting this on for the students. We kind of just made it more Peer Care related at the top.”

They also wanted to refresh the template to make it easier to read. With the rebranding, they wanted to ensure adequate space between the main sections, avoid information getting compressed together, and create a more aesthetically pleasing template. 

Peers Care applications have closed for the upcoming academic year, but remain open for students interested in joining the Peers Care team for the 2024-25 academic year. Applications will be sent out once recruitment begins on Feb. 1, 2024. Students are encouraged to join the interest list.

Wellness InSTALLments dating back to July 2018 can be found digitally on the Prevention and Wellness website under the initiatives tab.