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Saint Mary’s hosts fair to promote students’ physical, mental wellness

| Monday, February 12, 2018

Saint Mary’s hosted its first student health and wellness fair, called “Win with Wellness,” on Friday in the Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex.

Funded by a gift from alumna Kristine Anderson Trustey (’86), the fair was intended to generate more health and wellness programming on campus, Julie Schroeder-Biek, Saint Mary’s director of athletics, said. 

“[Trustey] gave a gift to the College, and with that gift she has charged us to do some more programming for health and wellness, so we thought that we would start it off with a wellness fair,” Schroeder-Biek said.

Schroeder-Biek said this will be the first of many programs to provide students’ health and wellness education, which will begin to be introduced this academic year and will be kicked into high gear in the 2018-2019 academic year.

The student health fair was structured around five prongs of health and wellness, Schroeder-Biek said.

“We are focusing on five basically: mind, body, spirit, emotional and financial,” she said. “Those are kind of the prongs that we are really focused on.”

Schroeder-Biek said in terms of focusing on the wellness of the mind, her goal was to provide students with methods of handling the stress they may be facing.

“Because we are an institution of higher learning, we definitely wanted the mind and all the stress that you all deal with and try to give you guys options on how to calm down, how to deal with stress,” she said.

In order to provide spiritual resources, Schroeder-Biek said she called on campus organizations for their assistance.

“With the spirit, we have all these partners on campus, so we could pull in Campus Ministry and have them help us,” she said.

The most unique aspect to the wellness prongs was promoting financial wellness, Schroeder-Biek said. In order to give students the tools to succeed financially, campus organizations such as Career Crossings attended the fair.

“The other prong that we did add which was interesting was financial, because as our women are leaving Saint Mary’s we want you all to have those tools in your toolbox on how do you know what insurance to get, how to fill out your tax forms and there’s a lot that we’ve got resources on this campus that we could help you with,” Schroeder-Biek said.

Due to the inclement weather Friday, there were concerns about the amount of people who would attend, but the fair ultimately did not see much of a setback, Schroeder-Biek said.

“We were pretty nervous with the weather, we did have some vendors back out on us understandably because of the weather,” she said. “We didn’t almost know what to expect on a Friday afternoon, so I’ve been happy so far to see the people come through.”

The fair had over 25 booths set up advertising the five prongs of wellness, and Schroeder-Biek said she was particularly excited about the Save a Life Tour booth that addressed distracted driving.

“I love the distracted driving [prevention] that we have, the Save a Life Tour, because it’s dealing with distracted driving — being texting or drunk driving — and I think that these are really important booths to safely see how distracted it actually is,” she said.

Schroeder-Biek said she would like to host this fair annually, and hopes to see it improve over the years.

“We’d love to have feedback from the students,” she said. “We want to continue this annually, we would love to hear feedback on how we can make it bigger and better every single year.”

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About Jordan Cockrum

Jordan Cockrum is a junior at Saint Mary's studying Communications and Humanistic Studies.

Contact Jordan