On Wednesday, Oct. 27 West Chester University hoasted a Wellness Fair in the Sykes Ballroom. Numerous tables were set up from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and workshops were presented ever y hour from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.. A wide variety of on and off-campus organizations were represented, and they were more then willing to answer any questions and provide information.Many students took advantage of one or more of the many workshops that were offered for free throughout the day. Although all workshops focused on an aspect of healthy living, the topics ranged from financial health seminars to a presentation on healthy food choices. Yoga instruction and stress reduction workshops were also offered, along with a session in meditation. There was really something for everyone who wanted to participate.
Sykes Ballroom was filled with booths promoting healthy lifestyle choices for students. A wide variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, cheese, granola and vegetarian chili were available or visitors. Food pyramids could be viewed at several stands, and the promotion of healthy eating and exercise patterns was a prominent theme throughout the event. Mental health was also acknowledged by several organizations including the on-campus group Active Minds, and the WCU counseling center. Free massages were offered, and the long line indicated that students were more then willing to take advantage of this luxury.
Several more sensitive subjects were also represented throughout the fair. A group called Center for Alcohol and Drugs, or COAD, promoted their educational programs for substance abuse and mental health services. COAD also has a research exchange program for those in need of information about either of these topics. Students Working Against Tobacco (S.W.A.T.) handed out free “quit kits” for smokers along with offering information about hypnosis, medication and support for those trying to quit.
The Crime Victims Center of Chester County had a stand that promoted their organization?s goals of offering counseling and support to those who had been the victim of crimes such as sexual assault, rape, burglary, or harassment.
For those concerned about pregnancy, Birthright of West Chester displayed their goals and services while also promoting understanding and responsibility on the part of students.
The West Chester Wellness Center offered more then just free food at their stand. Information about beating the “Freshmen Fifteen,” understanding carbohydrates, and making healthier choices at restaurants was offered in the form of handouts and packets.
Nutritionist Karen Fiorenza said, “We had a great turnout. We got some important information out to students. They may have come out for the free food, but they left knowing a lot more about healthy living.”
The Sykes Fitness Center also took a creative approach to their presentation. Along withproviding exercise schedules for their many classes such as dance aerobics and kickboxing, they also offered body composition testing and blood pressure screenings. Their most unique feature was a healthy lifestyle contract that could be signed and returned.
The contract outlined several ways in which students would commit themselves to promoting a healthy lifestyle and then required a signature from both the student and a witness.
Jason Sachs, a student employee of the fitness center, said, “We believe that health and fitness are very important to everyday living. Our purpose at the Wellness Fair was to attempt to get a commitment from students to lead a healthier lifestyle. We also provided exercise prescriptions to help educate students on their current health and fitness level.”
Anyone interested in obtaining more information about healthy living is welcome to visit the Wellness Center, located in the Health Center on the second floor of Wayne Hall. Specialists are always available to answer questions and provide information to those who are interested.