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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Wellness fair promotes healthy living

The eight week stretch of constant stressors such as classes, summer applications and stormy winter weather before Spring Break can overwhelm the most level-headed Grinnellians. The Second Annual Wellness Fair nicely interrupted the winter blues this past Tuesday, Feb. 9 on the first and second floors of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center.

The fair continued the tradition of promoting a healthier student body while including more student organizations than last year, according to Wellness Coordinator Jen Jacobsen ’95 who planned the event.
“February tends to be that bleak month in that stretch before Spring Break…the days are still dark and cold and snowy,” Jacobsen said. “So we figure it’s a good opportunity to lighten up a bit.”

Like last year, stations informed on topics from blood pressure to nutrition to exercise, while the number of student groups present also grew, due to Jacobsen’s effort to make wellness peer-educational.

“Everything I’ve researched, everything I know, everything I’ve heard from our students on campus is a real big belief in peer-education, especially in areas of wellness,”Jacobsen said. “We wanted to increase the amount of student involvement, especially because wellness can be peer activity too.”

East Campus RLC Dan Hirsch, joined by male athletes, headed a table promoting “Real Men,” a newly formed organization concerned with finding a new way to project masculinity.

“We are a new student group working to create a positive definition of masculinity by doing a few different things.” Hirsch said. “We are committed to eliminating discriminatory speech and sexual assaults.”
Real Men will continue its efforts beyond the Wellness Fair, with events planned for next year.

“In the fall we are going to be kicking off the year with a workshop for all incoming first-year male athletes, just to try and give them that extra step other than NSO to let them know what goes on a college campus and be more of a peer mentor than anything” member Ryan Creps ’12 said.

International Student Organization (ISO) and Office of International Student Affairs (OISA) member Shivani Santoki ’11, who ran the tea booth both this year and last year was excited to share a bit of her culture and at the same time help take some of the weight off her peers.

First year Karl Nelson ’13 found a missing piece of home life while at Grinnell, with the fair’s popular therapy dogs.

“I really miss my dogs, so having the dogs here is really cool.” Nelson said. “It’s really relaxing, a nice break from academics.”

Due to student demand, the fair may be expanded to a twice event a year in the future, according to Jacobsen.

“Students have requested doing it twice a year, maybe we would do a sort of different version of it,” Jacobsen said. “Certainly if students are saying, ‘we want more wellness’ we want to provide them with more wellness.”

Jacobsen wants to see wellness pushed beyond one night a year to a student position in every cluster. The wellness coordinator would function like a hall social coordinator, but throw informative healthy events and communicate with Jacobsen regularly.

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