Wellness fair promotes mental, physical health to students before break

Joanna Gartman

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Students crowded the student center Comanche Suites on Nov. 5 for the B Good 2 U Wellness Fair, sponsored by 10 different departments to offer tips regarding wellness, safety and stress-relieving activities. The fair, normally held outside on Sunwatcher Plaza, was moved to the student center due to recent rains.

Shannon Rogers, counseling graduate student, helped man the “Short Tips for Finals” booth that offered a pamphlet of stress-fighting techniques and smiling stress balls.

Rogers said the stress-fighting booth intends to, “give students tools for the stress inevitably going to come.”

Anticipating finals, the stress tip booth hopes students “come for the food and stay for the stress tips,” Rogers said.

The B Good 2 U fair offers free hot dogs, chips, tea, popcorn and a booth for cookie decorating.

Across from the cookie decorating, the Healthy Holiday Eating Food booth is found. The booth features an example of a healthy and an unhealthy meal, both provided by Mesquite Café.

Caleb Hannon, assistant director of recreational sports/wellness, said, “during holidays everyone knows eating healthy isn’t that big of a concern… and fitness goes on the backburner. But it’s amazing how quickly a few weeks off can affect your fitness.”

Members of the recreational sports/wellness department, who hosted the Healthy Holiday Eating booth, promoted the MSU Turkey Trot to be held Nov. 25. With one can of food, which will be donated to the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank, anyone can participate in the charity 5k.

Hannon said, “participating in the run will hopefully be a good reminder to people to stay active even during the break.”

“I don’t know if everyone knows the Wellness Center is also there to answer any questions people have about wellness and it’s all free to students,” Hannon said.

For students like Christopher Portillo, business senior, the unhealthy holiday food is the main reason to visit the fair.

Portillo said, “my favorite booth is the cookie decorating one but I came for the free shirt and popcorn.”

The sponors of the wellness fair offer free T-shirts to anyone who fills out a survey.

Portillo said he attended the fair last year and sees the importance of the fair.

“[The fair] is good for people that need to get informed about different things with wellness on campus,” Portillo said.

The fair is held once a year but usually falls in the spring semester.

Pam Midgett, counseling center director, said the wellness fair, normally held in the spring, has had great success and student attendance since it was started three years ago, but Midgett said counselors moved the fair to the fall semester despite its springtime success.

“This year we experimented on a new date in November so we can focus on feelings of thankfulness and gratitude,” Midgett said.

Midgett said, “We put our resources together to provide a fun event for students that focuses on being healthy and being well.”

A “Wall of Thanks” booth features an “I am thankful for…” wall, where students hold their hand-written appreciations to their chests to have their picture taken, printed and placed on the wall. The displays of appreciation range from thankfulness of family and friends to pizza and naps.

Belvin Pierce, psychology senior, joined the appreciative students on the wall.

“I just think it’s important to share things to be thankful for to remember that there are lots of things we should be thankful for,” Pierce said.

Midgett said the fair’s purpose is for “MSU students to be healthy and well while they’re obtaining their education.”

“We want students to have healthy relationships and be involved on campus. We also want them to have effective ways to deal with the stress of being in college. We want them to be aware of the services that are being offered on campus such as counseling, health services and opportunities for improved fitness. The wellness fair is our opportunity to do that,” Midgett said.

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