The Sister-to-Sister peer mentors of West Chester University will be holding Eating Disorders Awareness Week from Feb. 27 to March 2.
According to their mission statement, the goal of the peer mentors is to “promote healthy body image and spread awareness regarding eating disorders to women on campus.” The program’s aim is to “help women by encouraging positive body image, self-esteem, and empowerment.”
Founded in 2000 by Dr. Deanne Zotter, the peer mentors are a group of sorority women that meet once a week to learn how to recognize the signs of eating disorders and learn how to teach their sorority sisters and other women on campus how to love their bodies. The women are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of eating disorders in their friends and family and they put on programs in their chapters to educate their sisters.
Eating Disorders Awareness Week is Sister to Sister’s annual event. The goal for the week is to reach out to all women on campus and educate them on how to be healthy. The events are not limited to just sorority women because eating disorders affect everyone, regardless of what organization they are in. The theme for the week is “Change the Way You See, Not the Way You Look.”
Throughout the week, the Women’s Center will be accepting clothing donations. “Goodbye Skinny Clothes,” is intended for students to donate clothes that may not fit anymore. The idea is to get rid of the skinny clothes and be happy with current appearances and sizes. Students may drop off clothes to Lawrence 220 all week.
On Monday Feb. 27, the peer mentors will be sitting at a table in Sykes from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. They will be handing out the schedule for the week, information on good body image, and selling T-shirts. The T-shirts are black shirts with pink writing and say, “This is what Barbie should look like.” The shirts will be available for purchase all week.
Monday night’s event is a film called “Miss Representation.” The film will be shown in Main Hall 168 at 7:30 p.m. This film shows how the media misrepresents young girls and women by focusing on appearance rather than what lies within. Free popcorn will be available.
On Tuesday Feb. 28, there will be two events. The first is a free yoga session from 12 p.m.-1 p.m. in the Sykes Aerobics Studio. Jennifer Kelly, a registered yoga trainer, will lead the session.
From 6 p.m.- 9 p.m. in Sykes 209 on Tuesday night, Sisters United will hold “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall.” The goal is to “shatter the unrealistic images in the media and write our own positive body image reality.”
On Wednesday Feb. 29, three local women, Kate Capriano, Melissa Hays, and Elizabeth Kalogris, will be holding “Lunch + Learn= Free Pizza.” These women will teach participants on how to use the arts to raise awareness on body image issues and body diversity. The event will be held in Sykes Ballroom C from 12 p.m.-1 p.m.
The sisters of Delta Phi Epsilon are holding their annual National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associate Disorders (ANAD) Vigil on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in Sykes Common Grounds. There will be an open mic time for the audience to share their testimonies after hearing from different speakers. Purple ribbons will be available for purchase at the Sister-to-Sister table and proceeds will go to Delta Phi Epsilon’s philanthropy, National Association for Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.
On Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the Sykes Theater, join the Sister-to-Sister Peer Mentors for Scale Bashing. The audience will hear stories of recovery from eating disorders and are encouraged to bring their own scales to bash. The Peer Mentors will be sharing ways on how to “break away from the scale obsession.”
The last event of the week is another free yoga session on Friday March 2. Rebecca Preiser, MSEd, will be leading the session. She is a currently a doctoral student in the counseling center and she is also a registered yoga instructor. The session will be held in the Sykes Aerobic Center from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
The Women’s Center, The Office of Wellness Education, Sister-to-Sister Peer Mentors, Sisters United, Delta Phi Epsilon, and the Counseling Center all sponsor Eating Disorders Awareness Week.
For more information on the events of the week, visit http://wcupa.edu/_services/stu.inf/wellness/. For more information on the Sister-to-Sister Peer Mentor program, please visit http://roadrunner.cs.wcupa.edu/peer/.
Margaret Weaver is a fourth-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at MW678077@wcupa.edu.