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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

UCity Wellness Fair promotes student health

Giulianna Vullo and Alexis Larios, campus ministry associates, table at the UCity Wellness Fair in the ARC on Nov. 4. PHOTO: ALLIE MILLER ’24/THE HAWK

St. Joe’s hosted the first of two Wellness Fairs this month on Nov. 4 at the University City campus. The fair, designed to promote student health and wellness, was an annual tradition at the former University of the Sciences, according to Heidi Freeman, executive director of student health and well-being of the Student Health Center. The fair has been held each year since 2018, except for 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic. 

Held in the Athletic/Recreation Center (ARC), this year’s fair on the UC campus featured both university resources and student organizations, with representatives offering giveaways and conversation to attendees.

Freeman said the university was able to offer student organizations funding to purchase items  they could offer at the fair.

Students in the American Pharmacists Association (APHA) were at the fair to educate people on important health topics, said Jessica Dinh ’24. Dinh handed out pens that were designed like injection needles and pills to people who visited her table.

“It’s a really good way for students to come out and also show their organizations but also have a sense of community,” Dinh said. 

Nicole Asmar ’26 was also representing APHA with an Operation Mental Health poster. Asmar offered bubble-shaped sticky notes to fair attendees to write down their current thoughts and stick them on a poster as a way to help destigmatize conversations surrounding mental health. 

“It’s important to be able to pick yourself up the next day and remember that everybody has those days and you’re not alone,” Asmar said. “Every student has felt left out at one time or just down about school or about personal issues. And it’s more in your mind to remember that we’re all together at the end of the day.”

Alexis Larios, campus ministry associate, represented Campus Ministry at the fair.

“We’re here to emphasize that wellness isn’t consigned to just mental or physical well-being, but also spiritual well-being, so just making sure that students are grounded and feel connected to something other than themselves,” Larios said. 

Larios added she hopes Campus Ministry’s presence at the fair reminds students of those on the UCity campus.

“With the merger, there’s some misconceptions about what Campus Ministry might be on the UCity campus, so we want to just make our presence known continuously and show that we’re here as a support for this campus and that we actually do have programming on this campus as well,” Larios said.

Christine Mecke, director of Student Disability Services, said she hopes students get a sense of who is around to support them, no matter where they are in terms of their health and well-being.

“There are a lot of resources available to students to help them kind of get a game plan together,” Mecke said. “Sometimes having that game plan really helps kind of lower the stress, helps you get yourself organized.”

Freeman said that awareness is the goal of the fair, and she hopes student attendees were able to familiarize themselves with health and wellness services on campus.

“I think taking that time out to step away from your studies for a little bit [is important],” Freeman said. “I know it’s hard to do because we think that the more time we put in, the better off we’re going to be. But taking a break is actually really important.”

The next Wellness Fair will be held from 12-2 p.m. on Nov. 11 in Doyle Banquet Hall on the Hawk Hill campus. 

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