This year, Boston University brings its annual Wellness Fair to students when it is likely to do the most good: this week.
“At this time of year, with New Year’s resolutions, a lot of people are looking toward forming some new, healthier habits,” says Beth Grampetro, health and wellness educator for the Office of Residence Life, which hosts the event. “This is a great time to try to start off on the right foot.”
In previous years the fair was held in the spring, but a careful consideration of timing and student needs persuaded administrators to move it to January, when people are open to change, and when the start of a new semester can ratchet up the stress level.
The goal to is make students aware of the resources available, both on- and off-campus, to help them maintain a healthy balance between school, work, and social life. Information about these services, prizes such as playing a pickup basketball game against Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore, and entertainment by BU student groups, will be available at the BU, Be Well: 2006 Wellness Fair on Wednesday, January 25, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the GSU’s Metcalf Hall.
The fair will give students a chance to talk to representatives from approximately 30 offices and services on campus, including the Education Resource Center, the Student Activities Office, the Escort Service, the Fit Rec Center, the Howard Thurman Center, and Student Employment, as well as off-campus establishments like Planned Parenthood, REI, and EMS.
Participants have been encouraged to be as interactive as possible with students, hosting activities and games in addition to providing information, says Grampetro. “We want to get away from the vibe of a college fair, where you walk around with a plastic bag and shove in as many brochures as you can, that you actually may never read,” she says. “There are more reasons to go than just to pick up information.”
Those reasons include performances by the Dear Abbeys, BU on Tap, Fusion, and the Dance Theatre Group. Student Health Services will provide blood pressure screenings, and BUPD will give a Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) demonstration and register bicycles. And this year, for the first time, the American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the fair, from 1 to 6 p.m. in the Ziskind Lounge, adjacent to Metcalf Hall.
Students who visit at least five tables will be eligible for prizes such as New Balance duffle bags, Back Bay Ball tickets, gift certificates to REI and EMS, and the pickup basketball game against Elmore.
Grampetro calls the event a “one-stop-shop” for fun, prizes, and information on programs that contribute to the varying aspects of a student’s personal wellness. “There are many different things that make up someone’s overall wellness, including physical, intellectual, occupational, spiritual, and emotional needs,” says Grampetro. “BU has services for all of them."