The new ASSU administration has ushered in a new fall quarter agenda with a particular focus on wellness. The autumn calendar has been full of wellness-centered events including positive food messaging, free jump drive giveaways, and documentary film showings.
To kick off the fall wellness season, a small Wellness Fair was held in White Plaza on Friday, October 1. The fair exhibited wellness focused booths, all dedicated to a different aspect of being well. Examples included bike safety, sexual health, and healthy eating.
A booth focused on relaxation featured beanbag chairs, crayons, board games, and bubbles for students to use. Students came to draw and relax after classes while enjoying free Jamba Juice samples and an all-natural grain dish from a local dining hall chef.
Love Your Body Week
From September 27 to October 3, the ASSU held Love Your Body Week, an event headed by ASSU Chair of Women’s Issues Viviana Arcia ’13. Love Your Body Week focused on an array of body image issues related to cultural preferences, sexual orientation, peer pressure, and the need for physical perfection.
The week featured panels, films, and activities meant to promote self-confidence and encourage speaking out about personal problems.
It is unknown how many of the people who showed up to these events actually struggled with an eating disorder or body image issue. However, a few people did speak out candidly in discussion about past experiences with these problems.
“Having these people share their experiences really helps in opening up discussion on these issues as well as allowing students to think about these struggles from a more personal standpoint, since they see fellow students going through, and attempting to overcome, body image issues or eating disorders,” said Arcia.
On Wednesday, as part of the Love Your Body Week, Manzanita Dining hosted a “Mindful Eating” lunch. Taylor Winfield ’13, Chair of Health and Wellness, collaborated with CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) and Stanford Dining in developing this event to encourage healthy eating habits on campus.
Winfield explained the concept of “mindful eating” as “choosing to eat food that is both pleasing to you and nourishing to your body.”
According to Winfield, because of the lack of resources on campus, the lunch is the best way the ASSU can help with nutritional education on campus. She pointed to the fact that there exists only one nutritionist at Vaden Health Center, which serves the needs of over 14,000 students at Stanford.
Wellness Plans on Campus
Winfield has ambitious plans for wellness issues on campus. She has discussed before her goal of establishing a wellness center on campus. As of now though, there are no concrete plans to create such a building. The Wellness Room remains the only permanent, spatial creation of the ASSU’s wellness project.
The effect of this quarter’s wellness programming so is difficult to quantify so far, but one can be sure that more ASSU sponsored wellness initiatives will be seen on campus this year.