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Students visit health, wellness fair at ND

SAM STRYKER | Friday, February 19, 2010

Living up to their reputation as health conscious individuals, Notre Dame students turned up in droves at Thursday’s Student Health and Wellness Fair, hosted at the Rolfs Sports Recreation Center.

Josephine Dickinson of the University Counseling Center said this year’s event tried to live up to its slogan, “How Healthy Are You?” by involving all aspects of campus life.

“The concept of the event is that we invite all departments on campus to help us with all aspects of healthy living,” she said.

Dickinson said this included the Gender Relations Committee, RecSports and even businesses outside of Notre Dame that focus on self-care and wellness, who all set up tables on the gym floor.

Dickinson said the event should seem familiar to anyone who attended last year’s Health and Wellness Fair, which was the first time it was held.

“We invited the same people from last year. It should look very similar,” she said.

Dickinson said one of the most important features of the event is student interaction with the departments, complemented with incentives for participation. Popular tables included a free massage center and a Dance Dance Revolution console.

“Students come and for every table they participate in they get a raffle slip. That’s the buy-in for students,” she said. “The tables have to be interactive. They can’t be boring where you just pick up a flyer.”

The raffle tickets were then entered into a giveaway for prizes including one roundtrip plane ticket, salon baskets and spring break gift bags.

Senior Jennie Heil was impressed with the variety of tables at the event.

“I really liked the McDonald Physical Therapy table,” she said. “I also think it’s a good idea they’re giving out flu shots.”

Dickinson said the event organizers were expecting a sizeable turnout after last year’s event drew larger than expected crowds, with 761 students attending.

“It was shocking. We would have been happy with 200,” she said. “We hope since the word is out that 1000 people will attend this year.”

The event seemed to live up to the hype, according to students.

“I think it’s great that they got so many kids to go out,” freshman Rebecca Kibler said.

Dickinson said the concept of a health fair for students is not unique to Notre Dame and that she drew inspiration for the event from previous work experience.

“Before I worked here I worked at The Ohio State University. I decided to bring the same concept from Ohio State, which ran a similar event,” she said.

Freshman Garret Ward agreed the event was an excellent idea for the Notre Dame student body.

“I definitely think it is a good idea to raise awareness amongst students for different health related issues,” he said.