Creating Healthier Places

George Mason University

2017 Progress Report

Year Committed: 2014
Length of Commitment: 3 years

Committed to meet guidelines—developed by PHA in collaboration with some of the nation’s leading nutrition, physical activity and campus wellness experts—around nutrition, physical activity, and programming on campus.

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Verified Results

    • Commitment Element

      Offer on the menu a minimum of one (1) wellness meal at each breakfast, lunch and dinner meal (if served).
    • Progress To Date

      George Mason University offers at least one wellness meal at every breakfast, lunch and dinner served at the three campus dining halls. Wellness meals meet all PHA food and nutrition criteria and are promoted daily with signage and a sample plate at point of presentation.

    • Implementation Date

      April 2017
    • Reporting Date

      June 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Implement a local food procurement program that increases procurement of local and sustainable foods.
    • Progress To Date

      George Mason University purchases a variety of locally sourced products grown, raised or produced within 250 miles of the campus. Milk, honey and a range of seasonal produce items are purchased locally and served daily in the resident dining halls. All seafood served is sustainable and coffee is fair trade and organic. In addition, an on-campus greenhouse, two Urban Cultivator, herb-growing units in the dining halls, and a partnership with the local hydroponic, Zeponic farms provide freshly harvested lettuces and herbs.

    • Implementation Date

      April 2017
    • Reporting Date

      June 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Provide marked walking routes on campus, one of which must be at least two (2) miles in length and have distance markers at regular intervals. A route map is made available to individuals on campus.
    • Progress To Date

      The George Mason University Red Dogwood and Yellow Birch trails connect, offering up to 4.2 miles of marked walking trail on campus. The Yellow Birch is a 1.6 mile circular trail with distance markers every 0.2 miles. The Red Dogwood trail is an out and back path that offers an additional 1.3 miles of trail each way and features distance markers, a directional arrow or a trail map every 0.2 miles.

    • Implementation Date

      April 2017
    • Reporting Date

      June 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Provide designated bicycle lanes on major roads and/or offer off-street bicycle paths throughout campus.
    • Progress To Date

      George Mason University offers a total of 5 miles of marked bicycle lanes throughout the campus, including 3.38 miles of roadway bike lanes, 0.43 miles of shared lanes and 1.2 miles of off-street shared bike and pedestrian paved pathway, running along the Red Dogwood Trail.

    • Implementation Date

      April 2017
    • Reporting Date

      June 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Implement a campus-wide program/policy that incentivizes the use of public or campus provided transportation.
    • Progress To Date

      George Mason University incentivizes the use of public and campus provided transportation through a variety of programs, including a free campus shuttle system, transit benefits for employees, carpool discounts and reserved parking, vanpool and cycling incentives, Patriot Lift for those with mobility impairments and an emergency ride home service for faculty and staff. The Mason Shuttle transit system was utilized by more than 630,000 students, faculty and staff in FY 2016 and more than 500 individuals benefitted from the other transportation incentives in the fall of that year.

    • Implementation Date

      April 2017
    • Reporting Date

      June 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Offer a minimum of twenty (20) diverse recreation, physical activity/movement or competitive sports opportunities during each academic year.
    • Progress To Date

      George Mason University offers a wide variety of recreation, physical activity/movement and competitive sports opportunities each academic year, including 21 group fitness and well-being classes, five fitness competitions, 17 unique intramural activities, 27 club sports and a range of outdoor activities and events, such as hiking and backpacking.

    • Implementation Date

      April 2017
    • Reporting Date

      June 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Offer, without a user fee, a minimum of one (1) monthly “how to” physical activity/ movement class that introduces students to new activities.
    • Progress To Date

      George Mason University’s weekly well-being classes provide opportunities for walking, yoga, Pilates and meditation. Each semester all martial arts and self defense classes are offered free of charge for one week. Fitness events and promotions, like the Indoor Triathlon, Be My Fit Valentine and Outdoor Challenge, as well as online workout tutorial videos, encourage students to try new activities and provide information and techniques for new health and fitness trends.

    • Implementation Date

      April 2017
    • Reporting Date

      June 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Implement an integrated, comprehensive wellness program for individuals on campus that is provided annually.
    • Progress To Date

      In December 2013, George Mason University’s Board of Visitors approved a new 10-year strategic plan for the University, listing “Well-Being” as one of the twelve strategic goals. The resulting Well-Being University initiative has helped focus efforts to ensure students, faculty and staff build a life of vitality, purpose, resilience and engagement. The Well-Being University Learning Communities, made up of more than 45 university leaders, faculty, staff, and students, lead the initiative and support a range of academic courses, programs and well-being events. One recent outcome of the initiative is the incorporation of nutrition and physical movement into the RA training program as a strategy to bring increased resources and opportunities for nutrition and physical activity to students.

    • Implementation Date

      April 2017
    • Reporting Date

      June 2017
    • Commitment Element

      Implement a program/policy that supports and accommodates breastfeeding for individuals on campus.
    • Progress To Date

      George Mason University has implemented a variety of programs and policies to support breastfeeding on campus. All employees who are nursing mothers are provided with reasonable break time for expressing breast milk during working hours. Six separate lactation rooms are available for faculty, staff, students and visitors. The University also provides support groups and identifies parenting and pregnancy resources to help nursing mothers understand their benefits and available options.

    • Implementation Date

      April 2017
    • Reporting Date

      June 2017

Partner Statement

“The Partnership for a Healthier America’s Healthier Campus Initiative was an exciting opportunity to commit and execute goals in a collaborative and supportive environment. Mason was delighted to take the journey with all of our Healthy Campus colleagues. Within Mason, we are excited to have completed our 23 goals including our expanded healthier dining options for students, faculty, and staff such as wellness meals and locally sourced products (including some from our own hydroponic greenhouse), as well as our bike lanes, public transportation support, walking trails (including our newest – the Red Dogwood Trail), and well-being and fitness opportunities. The PHA experience provided a terrific framework to enhance and expand our healthy living programs; further it strengthened the collaboration within our university community, building relationships that will continue to support well-being at Mason.”