As most students know, college is often the time when proper health, nutrition and wellness are forgotten. But with a New Year and quarter ahead, this may be the perfect time to make a change.
To help students get started, UC Davis’ Health Education and Promotion (HEP), a branch of the Student Health and Counseling Services, and Campus Recreation have once again partnered up for the fifth annual Wellness Carnival taking place on Wednesday, Jan. 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Activities Recreation Center lobby.
This year’s event theme is “The Well Factor.” The event focuses on the seven realms of wellness: social, spiritual, physical, intellectual, occupational, emotional and environmental.
“[The goal] of the event is to inform students about these seven realms of wellness and increase student involvement within their group,” said Haleigh Reichert, a wellness student assistant and event coordinator at HEP in an e-mail interview.
At the event, more than 30 different organizations from all over campus will have a table and an interactive activity at the event. Each group will represent at least one of the seven realms of wellness. Students will have the opportunity to visit any of the booths throughout the two-hour-long event.
“There will be activities from jeopardy wheels to craft decoration to a first impression handshake analysis,” Reichert said.
Sodexo, for example, has been involved in the event since it began five years ago. This year, UC Davis Dining Services, in partnership with Sodexo, will be offering free samples of their popular whole grain salad at the event as well as recipe cards for cooking whole grains at home. They will be showing how to chose healthier and more sustainable food items everywhere on campus whether it is at the Silo, Scrubs or the Dining Commons.
“Guests at our table will also have the opportunity to learn more about when fruits and vegetables are in season in the Northern California region and why it is important to support local growers,” said Danielle Lee, the Sustainability Manager at UC Davis Dining Services in an e-mail interview.
Sodexo will also provide free Starbucks coffee to students who bring their reusable mugs with them.
Campus Recreation will have four booths at the event, all of which pertain to the seven realms of wellness. These include the Crafts Center, which will promote environmental awareness and the Intramural Sports Club to promote physical wellness. In addition, the Fitness and Wellness Center will promote different ways of exercising and the Mobility Assistance Program will promote social wellness.
“We hope to provide a one stop shop to find out about wellness,” said Elisabeth Sherratt, Assistant Director of Fitness and Wellness for Campus Recreation.
Other student groups that will be involved at the event include: Counseling and Psychological Service programs the House and Mind Spa, the LGBTRC, the Experimental College, Camp Kesem, Colleges Against Cancer, the ICC, Athletes in Action and many others. Prizes and donations from local businesses will also be given out. Some of these confirmed prizes are gift cards to Taqueria Guadalajara, Sophia’s Thai Kitchen and Tres Hermanas, coupons to the Pro Shop and two one-month-free group exercise passes from the Fitness and Wellness Center.
The Wellness Carnival was started five years ago by undergraduate students working at HEP as a way to raise awareness about health resources on campus.
“We want students to become aware of these seven realms of wellness and to find ways to incorporate them into their daily lives,” said Stacey Brezing, Physical Activity and Nutrition Health Educator at HEP.
Originally it was held in May, but for the past three years it has taken place in early January with the idea that a new year will bring New Year’s resolutions to stay healthy.
Both HEP and Campus Recreation are very excited about this year’s event and are anticipating over 300 students to attend.
“Both of these departments strive for a healthy student body and love to see student involvement in wellness-related activities,” Reichert said.
She added that the entire event is truly a students-for-students event.
“Nearly all the organizations at the event are student-led and we expect most of the attendees to be students as well,” Reichert said.
The Wellness Carnival is geared toward the entire UC Davis Community, but specifically students — both undergraduate and graduate.
“It’s never too late to join a campus club or organization, so the event is for all students to gain knowledge of various groups on campus that work to increase wellness,” Reichert said.
CLAIRE MALDARELLI can be reached at email@example.com.