Many people know February as a month filled with Valentine’s Day candy and the anticipation to find out whether or not there will be six more weeks of winter, but the month is also filled with a more meaningful cause that steps outside of romance and weather.
Many people are unaware that February is nationally known as Eating Disorders Awareness month. For those who do, you may find them celebrating this month by raising awareness about eating disorders or holding fundraising events for the cause.
Here at West Chester University, a particular organization known as Sister to Sister Peer Mentors waits all year long for this month as it dedicates two whole semesters to learn about different eating disorders and to plan events in hopes of raising awareness about such a serious and life threatening topic.
Sister to Sister is a 15-year-old organization comprised of sorority women from all chapters on campus. Although the main goal of this organization is eating disorders awareness, there is a focus on promoting positive body image both on and off campus.
On Wednesday, Feb. 17, the organization held a panel discussion with panelists who had several different views and experiences with eating disorders in general.
The panelists of all different ages and professions answered questions the audience had and shared their stories, offering a better understanding of how people are affected by disordered eating.
On Tuesday, Feb. 23, the annual Scale Bashing event will take place in the Sykes ballrooms at 7 p.m., where individuals have the opportunity to bash scales.
Yes, it’s everything it sounds like, as students have the chance to physically take a hammer to the scale and rid themselves of any self-consciousness brought from the number that the scale reads, whether they believe it to be too high or too low.
Following Scale Bashing, Delta Phi Epsilon’s Anorexia Nervosa and Associative Disorders (ANAD) Candle Light Vigil will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Sykes Ballrooms to remember those who have lost the battle recovering from eating disorders and to celebrate those who are strong and recovering, as well as spread awareness and resources for those still struggling.
Year after year, lights line the aisles to remind everyone that there is hope in recovery. Performers sing inspirational songs, personal stories are told, and the audience is left knowing more about what ANAD is.
To wrap the month up, the Sister to Sisters’ event, “I Am Enough,” will take place on Monday, Feb. 29 at 6 p.m. in Main Hall Room 168. “I Am Enough” is the theme for this year’s eating disorder awareness month at WCU and inspires individuals to remember that everyone is beautiful the way they are. They are smart enough, funny enough, brave enough, pretty enough and more. Sister to Sister Peer Mentors strongly reaches out to WCU every February to continue the mission in spreading awareness and education about what an eating disorder is, reflecting on how it effects individuals whether they personally experience it or not, and inspiring the hope to recovery for those who are struggling.
In coming to the events, you can join them in completing that mission and help to spread awareness.
Erika Petiro is a fourth-year student majoring in psychology. She can be reached at EP781638@wcupa.edu.