Core Values & Key Ingredients

Core Values & Key Ingredients

The Semel Healthy Campus Initiative Center at UCLA continues to innovate towards building a culture of physical, mental, and social well-being on UCLA’s campus. Identifying and mobilizing the strengths and assets of the UCLA community is one of the key ingredients in building a culture of well-being from the inside out. In the process, the following core values, built on UCLA’s True Bruin Values, are used as a compass for the Semel HCI Center community:

  • Fostering high-level wellness by maximizing the potential of individuals to improve their health;
  • Encouraging personal responsibility by creating an environment that facilitates healthy living, while ensuring that individuals are free to define health as they choose;
  • Respecting diversity by understanding that health and wellness are concepts that are frequently defined differently by people;
  • Striving to reduce inequities in health by making the campus community aware of existing health disparities and creating activities that reduce or eliminate them whenever possible; and
  • Being integrative in acknowledging that body, mind, and spirit each have the potential to influence the other, and in accepting that health and wellness emerge from the interaction of individuals and the physical and social/communal environments they inhabit.

Some additional key ingredients for success have included:

  • Semel HCI Center’s housing in the Chancellor’s office (this has resulted in the acceptance of and cooperation with Semel HCI Center from diverse campus constituents);
  • The engagement of our Steering Committee, that includes Vice Chancellors, Deans, administrators, faculty, and student leadership;
  • The identification of faculty and senior administrators with expertise in pod subject areas for leading each of the six pods;
  • The convening of monthly or quarterly pod meetings with stakeholders (faculty, senior administrators, students, community members, and staff) who help facilitate team-building and trust, trigger creative discussions and resource-sharing, and initiate program implementation;
  • Pod membership that is determined by a philosophy of being “inclusive not exclusive”;
  • The adherence to the pod leaders’ mission to incubate, prioritize, and lead their pods in the direction identified by the pod members and guided by the philosophy of “making the healthy choice the easy choice”;
  • The creation of a home for ongoing campuswide and systemwide health and wellness efforts, such as the campaign to make UCLA a tobacco-free campus and the initiative to combat students’ food insecurity, launched by the UCOP Global Food Initiative; and
  • Jane and Terry Semel’s vision and ongoing support for Semel HCI Center that continues to cultivate innovative and creative ideas about living well on campus and beyond.

“This initiative is about helping members of the campus community and beyond make informed choices. Whether it’s about diet, exercise, transportation, or sustainability, our goal is to leverage our unique strengths in health sciences and as a leading research university to encourage healthier outcomes for individuals and for society as a whole.”

– Chancellor Gene Block