New club aims to transcend stress

Valley professor promotes a healthier way of life via Meditation Club.

By Zaida Diaz, Staff Writer

“I would like to be able to give all students a chance to find a place of peace,” says English Department vice-chair and professor Dr. William Wallis.

“I want to help students who I think suffer from stress, and I also see students with addiction problems in my classes. Not a lot, but some.”

Wallis’ nascent Meditation Club will assist students in overcoming personal afflictions by providing counseling through Buddhist meditation in a space of relaxation.

Club meetings will be an hour and a half and will be non-theistic despite what Wallis calls a “Buddhist 12-Step” approach.  Meetings will begin with a half-hour “sit” to practice two areas of meditation: mindfulness; and love and kindness.

“We would sit silently together and there would be [an experienced] practitioner, that is someone trained in mindfulness,” Wallis said.

This would be followed by an hour of lesson and discussion; the lessons would cover some aspects of the non-religious philosophy of Buddhism.

At the back of the room would ideally be a table with professionals from health and psychological services providing information about getting help on campus and off-campus.

“I will try to have people there who are knowledgeable and dedicated, who will be good resources for students who need help with stress or any addiction problems,” said Wallis.

Wallis has received encouragement from the Student Health and Psychological Services at Valley, specifically from Physician Assistant Sonia Nodal and Outreach Coordinator Chelsea Shafer.

Eleven students attended the club’s first meeting last Monday to set goals. They will next elect officers and set a schedule at their next meeting, Monday.

Monarchs interested in becoming a part of the club and its efforts can contact Wallis at walliswg@lavc.edu or attend the meeting Nov. 3 at 12:40 p.m. in Humanities 113. 

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