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Senior develops programs to promote positive self-image

by Ashley Charnley | Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Many students battle with self-image, and junior Laura Glaub is developing ways to help women not just on Saint Mary’s campus, but throughout the country, work through this issue.

Glaub — who is also Student Government Student Services Commissioner at the College and the Resident Hall Association (RHA) National Communications Coordinator — went to a conference at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign held by the Great Lakes Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls (GLACURH) and three of her five ideas were presented there.

The programs she developed included “We We’re Born This Way,” “Wam Bam Mammogram” and “Please Stop Talking about Your Diet to Me.” The programs are activities that can be done during events such as “Love Your Body Week” to help improve self-image.

Fifty programs were presented, and “Please Stop Talking about Your Diet to Me” was in the top ten and is now headed to a national conference, Glaub said.

“‘Please Stop Talking about Your Diet to Me’ is showing other schools how they can put on ‘Love Your Body Week’ because I think it is really important in today’s media for any gender to feel comfortable about their body in lots of different ways,” she said.

The program starts with each person drawing themselves on a large piece of white paper, Glaub said. Then, another person will trace them on the paper and show the difference between their perception of themselves and what they actually look like.

After that activity is finished, the group looks at different advertisements from magazines and then discusses which are negative and which are positive, she said.

According to Glaub, much of her information came from the National Organization of Women website, which includes an explanation of how a student can make an impact on their campus in 60 seconds.

“After [the group goes] through this everyone has to sign a heart pledge about what they love about their body and tape it on the giant sign that says, ‘I love my body,'” Glaub said.

In addition to the success of the program, Glaub will be helping to put on the first “I Love My Body Week” at Saint Mary’s from Feb. 21 to 26.

“[We] gave out giant packets [at the conference] to explain my reasoning of why I am putting on ‘Love Your Body Week’ at Saint Mary’s,” Glaub said. “It talks about my schedule of the week with different professors talking, a deaf jam poet coming, t-shirts and other activities that display the health reason, the media reason and the sociology behind loving your body.”

Glaub said she is looking forward to bringing the program to Saint Mary’s women.

“This is definitely my ‘little baby’ because I am so excited … to get support from other RHAs through the Great Lakes and Canada was amazing,” Glaub said.

The national competition will be held sometime during the spring semester.

“I am really excited to present this at nationals because we will have our first week done and can let everyone know how it goes,” Glaub said.

At the conference Glaub was unable to actually present the idea because of her position on RHA, so seniors Marianne Jones and Jessica Robbins did the presentation for her.

“I was really pleased about the turn out at the conference and to make top ten was an amazing experience and I cannot wait until nationals,” Jones said.

Glaub said the successful results of the program she formulated show the need for this type of awareness at the university level.

“This obviously shows that this is such an important program to put on campuses in our society today to show genders to be happy and love who you are,” she said.