CAITLIN MCCAULEY | FEATURES COLUMNIST
St. Norbert College’s Health and Wellness department hosted their first annual Wellness Expo on Tuesday, Oct. 3 in the Mulva Family Fitness & Sports Center. The event focused on informing students about the eight dimensions of wellness and which resources on campus apply to each of the eight dimensions.
The eight dimensions of wellness consist of intellectual, emotional, physical, social, occupational, financial, environmental and spiritual wellness. Part of the purpose of the event was to educate students and to help them realize that health and wellness is not limited to just physical health.
There were several booths dedicated to physical wellness. Janeen Brosteau, an RN at St. Norbert, hosted a station teaching compressions-only CPR. This method is from the American Heart Association as a part of their Circle of Red. Festival Foods also hosted a booth to promote their various health-conscious snacking options as an alternative to the always-tempting chips and candy bars.
Students also hosted booths for physical health. Anna Shallue ’19 ran a booth all about Herbalife Nutrition, a lifestyle focused on providing your body with lots of protein and healthy alternatives for staying energized. Shallue was offering all-natural tea samples that boost metabolism and also serve as an alternative to sugary energy drinks and sodas.
Cassidy Enright ’19 and Madeline Schultz ’18 hosted another table devoted to physical health, specifically making students aware of the tobacco policy on campus. St. Norbert has 12 smoking urns on campus available, and smoking is allowed within seven feet of each urn. Otherwise, tobacco usage is prohibited. Enright and Schultz saw the Wellness Expo as a great opportunity to survey tobacco usage among students on campus as well as to inform students of the tobacco policy, as many are unaware that St. Norbert even has one.
Mary Ellen Olson, of Career & Professional Development, and Melissa Vergara, Director of Judicial Affairs, were in attendance, informing students about intellectual and occupational wellness. Olson was quick to point out that even if you do not have a job, occupational wellness applies to students as well, with school and education replacing occupation.
Occupational wellness can mean many things: are you engaged in the classroom? How satisfied are you with your major? Are you feeling challenged in your courses? It even relates to financial wellness in making sure that you will also be able to support yourself with the salary of your chosen career. St. Norbert College’s Career & Professional Development can help explore all these questions with students. They can help a student break down each major and all the jobs that can apply to that major, while helping the student learn to navigate salary negotiations as well as his or her own personal brand awareness.
Vergara provided attendees with an intellectual health survey from the SNC Wellness Committee. The survey was to help students evaluate if they are living out a healthy intellectual lifestyle. Studies have shown that a student’s interests are activated by goal setting and that keeping the mind engaged with activities such as Sudoku or even reading a few pages of a book or newspaper each day is the best way to stay intellectually healthy.
Calvin Nelson, Assistant Manager of Ruth’s Market Place, hosted a table showcasing his own homegrown sunflower sprouts, which will eventually be served in the SNC salad bar once they’re a little bigger.
“You know what you’re getting when you grow it yourself…it’s a lot of trial and error but it’s cool to see it grow right in front of you,” Nelson said.
His booth promoted environmental wellness. In growing your own herbs and plants, you are able to control what’s in your soil and how each plant has been cared for. It can also be a more economical option instead of buying these foods from the grocery store each week.
The Emmaus Center hosted a table on spiritual health, with different stations students could use to relax and meditate through coloring, bracelet making or discussing questions about their spirituality.
Tom Doughman, a counselor at SNC, educated students about emotional health. He administered an anxiety test to students willing to participate. A clamp was attached to each student’s earlobe which took students’ pulse rate and visually showed it on the iPad. If a red dot appeared, it meant that the student was more tense and less relaxed, blue indicated a moderate level of relaxation and green showed a high coherence of breathing and stress levels, meaning a student was in control of their anxiety levels.
The test is a way to visualize and experience a state of relaxation. Doughman uses this test for students that come in with high anxiety. It can be very useful, especially when having students watch a guided imagery video on Youtube, which helps counseling services gage a student’s tension level while distracted as well.
The Wellness Expo was also a great opportunity for students to get to know the new Health & Wellness Facilities. Located on the second floor of the new Mulva Family Fitness & Sports Center, Health & Wellness and Counseling Services have many new and engaging features.
Health & Wellness is currently sponsoring a walking program featuring charity miles. Once you choose a charity to donate to, for each mile you walk in the program, $0.25 will be donated to your chosen charity.
Counseling and Psychological Services is on the opposite side of the second floor and features a brand new relaxation room. Students can reserve the room for 15-30 minutes to just hang out in and relax. The room can only be used by one person at a time. It has a large bean bag chair, a weighted blanket, and a television screen where you can play a movie if you’d like or watch the deep sea images of fish on auto-display. The room was funded by SNC’s Autism Mentor Program and is also a resource students with autism may use at their leisure.
The biggest takeaway from the Wellness Expo is that just about every area on campus contributes to a student’s overall wellness. Many students don’t consider that places like Career & Professional Development or the Emmaus Center have anything to do with their health, but in reality they do.
If you look hard enough, every aspect of campus life contributes to your health in some way, whether it is physical or mental health. It is important that students recognize all the various resources on campus which are here to help lower worries and anxieties, whether it is about a future career, healthy eating or getting physically active. SNC has a broad spectrum of resources available and ready to help students in all these areas of health.