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Annual Wellness Fair encourages a balance between academics and health

The fifth annual Wellness Fair took place on Wednesday, Jan. 29 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Somerset room of WCC. The theme of the fair was a treasure hunt, encouraging students, faculty and staff to “treasure your health.” Over 45 booths representing different organizations, companies and clubs on and off campus were present to promote several different kinds of wellness to the Lawrence community.

The Fair filled up the entirety of Somerset with vendors, offering information and activities for all attendees. Some booths present were Appleton Parks and Recreation, Appleton Public Works, H&R Block, LU-NAMI, the YMCA and even the Humane Society with dogs. Intramurals Coordinator and Sage RHD, Andrew Stuart ‘13, commented on the broad range of vendors: “It was interesting that you had ORC, LCF, banks and dentist offices all in the same event,” and added, “The collection of diverse groups, both on campus and off, was quite impressive […] it made the fair relevant to the entire campus.”

In addition to different pamphlets from various organizations, there was a bingo game, free massages, a trivia game, a variety of free items from vendors such as toothbrushes, WelLU bags and candy, and raffle drawings to win gift baskets. In order to enter the raffle to win the themed baskets worth $100, an attendee had to visit at least eight different booths that represented a different dimension of wellness.

The Wellness Committee wanted to emphasize these different dimensions of wellness, including social, occupational, mental, spiritual, physical, intellectual and environmental health. Director of the Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center and advisor to the Wellness Committee, Erin Buenzli, stressed this saying, “I want people to think about wellness as much more than their physical fitness […] Wellness can kind of be anything. It’s a part of who you are and knowing what makes you work at your best.”

Wellness Committee co-president, senior Meghan Keenan, reiterated Buenzli in talking about the different ways to be healthy and added what the committee’s goal was for the fair: “Just getting the awareness out there that there are these different ways to be healthy and then giving students fun options and fun ways to interact and explore those topics.”

Keenan also talked about how the Wellness Fair was a good way to “treasure your health” and have some fun at the same time: “Here at Lawrence, we’re very academically oriented. It’s kind of a stressful atmosphere […] any activity, in particular this one, is an activity where you can kind of set that stress aside and relax and have a little bit of fun.”

This is the fifth year the students of the Wellness Committee have organized the fair, and it has expanded immensely in that time, starting at around 15 booths and growing to over 45 this year.

Regarding the students on the Wellness Committee, Buenzli stated, “That group of students is really committed towards wellness and they kind of really created the wellness initiative that’s on campus.”

The student Wellness Committee carries out a number of other active and passive programs throughout the year, as well, including Love Your Body Extravaganza, Midterm and Finals Study Breaks, Eating Disorder and Mental Illness Panel Discussions and more.