WKU Healthy Days provides information, activities for students

WEB_Food_BJoyner.jpg

Julie Sisler

Over 450 students gathered in Preston Center on Wednesday, March 28 for the annual Healthy Days event, which is run by WellU.

This year’s theme was “Wild for Wellness,” something different than the typically spring-break-themed events of past years. The event featured jungle-themed shirts and advertisements, jungle decorations and props for the photo booth and a design of Big Red sporting hiking boots and a hat.

The health fair featured vendors addressing a wide variety of health aspects. Aside from topics centering around physical health such as healthy eating and exercise, there were vendors discussing mental health, educational health and things like drunk driving, fire safety and self-image.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to come to one place and find a bunch of resources,” graduate assistant Daniella Izaguirre said.

Among the 49 vendors, there were representatives from the Student Government Association, the WKU store, the library and Center for Financial Success. Many of these groups offered information and additional resources for students to use in order to achieve wellness in multiple areas.

“Our goal is to teach students about the dimensions of wellness,” Alicia Everette, student wellness and marketing coordinator, said. “It’s more than just being physically well.”

Izaguirre added that the importance of wellness extends past the need for a healthy body and mind.

“There’s financial wellness, educational wellness and general wellness in learning things like how to put out a fire,” Izaguirre said.

Students could participate in a variety of activities, everything from wheelchair basketball to entering raffles sponsored by SGA to trying healthy snacks provided by WellU.

Businesses and organizations from the Bowling Green community also participated. Groups like Hope Harbor, Bluegrass Chiro and Vertical eXscape had tables and many gave away prizes or gave students the opportunity to enter a raffle. Vertical eXscape, for example, had students play plinko in order to determine if they entered a raffle or won something like a buy-one-get-one-free pass to come climb.

“The event is a chance for students to come and participate in things around campus through vendors from on campus and around the Bowling Green Community,” Everette said.

For every activity that students completed and got signed off on, even activities like getting a henna tattoo or chair massage, they were growing closer to the number of signatures needed to gain a T-shirt or raffle tickets to submit their names into drawings for larger prizes such as scholarships, bluetooth headphones, hammocks and gift cards, or, if they had enough signatures, both the T-shirt and the raffle tickets.

Healthy Days is WellU’s largest event of the year and is the culmination of a year of work. They have been planning since November, gaining sponsors and getting clubs involved.

“It’s our big event,” Everette said. “It’s what we spend all year planning.”

Izaguirre said Healthy Days demonstrates all of the resources at the fingertips of students and puts students in the position to take charge of their own wellness, which is the goal of WellU.

“There are so many things that someone can get out of Healthy Days, even if it’s just some free food,” Izaguirre said. “But we hope students leave with the knowledge of different areas of wellness and how to better take care of themselves in all ways.”

The event was sponsored by the WKU Restaurant Group, Graves Gilbert Clinic, Health Education and Promotion, The WKU Store, WKU Counseling and Testing Center, Campus Activities Board, the Student Government Association and others.

Features reporter Julie Sisler can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected] Follow Julie on social media at @julie_sisler.