Get Well. Take the 2013 Challenge.

Healthy U Wellness Challenge
Wellness challenge website

The client

Campus Rec wants to be the leader in Urban university recreation - as a department, we gauge our efforts not just on what we see before us, but make sure to strive to reach the highest standards of the recreation field.  To that end, we hope to mirror the Portland State's commitment to leading on national issues around sustainability while becoming known as a University that creates a nationally recognized adaptive sports environment.

The Healthy U Wellness Challenge is a 9-week competition open to PSU students, faculty, and staff to foster physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, intellectual, social, and environmental wellness campus wide. Individuals and teams can earn prizes by accumulating points in three categories: Healthy Habits, Exercise, and Event Participation. 

The Challenge begins on January 14 and runs through March 17. Registration is open to all members of the PSU community on January 2 at Member Services inside the Rec Center. Members pay $10, and non-members pay $20 and receive a 6-visit pass.

What they needed

Historically, the Wellness Challenge hires a few student web developers around September to design the latest design of the website. Each year, since the designed theme for the challenge changes, so does the website. This year, they began to look for a solution that would provide them with the customization of the challenge (such as point logging, habit tracking, events, and leaderboards), as well as forums for participant information.

How I helped

Though historically the challenge website had been custom created through various frameworks (such as Yii), I suggested the Campus Recreation take the Drupal 7 approach. Drupal 7 had been in production for a little more than a year and is highly integrated into the current Portland State University framework -- with our Drupal 7 PSU Enterprise System. We could allow Drupal to handle all of the heavy lifting (such as user access, file sharing, and custom content types), which allowed us more time to delve into theming and custom module development.

The base theme is built off of Bartik and adjusted to include (or remove) various regions of content. Views Slideshow acted as the primary way to place content on the homepage slideshow. Custom modules were created to calculate healthy habits, track exercise minutes, and display leaderboards for individuals and teams. We relied heavily on Taxonomy to manage the teams that each user was associated with. Rules and custom fields were integrated into the Events content type and that is how points were either distributed (un-moderated) or moderated depending on the event. 


  • A new site that is mobile-ready and works correctly on all browsers and devices.
  • New branded look for the challenge.
  • Created custom modules to track healthy habits, exercise, and event participation.
  • Integration of forums for participants questions or feedback.


Linux, Apache, PHP, MySQL, Drupal 7