The annual Health and Wellness Expo occurred on Thursday Oct. 25 in the McFarland Student Union Multipurpose Room 218 from 10 a.m. to 2 pm.
There were more than 30 stands with various health experts giving out brochures, helpful information, and free samples and screenings. The dining services offered healthy snacks such as a yogurt bar.
The KU Health and Wellness Center was giving out flu shots for $10 each. They also completed private STD screenings.
Free screenings were also available to make students aware of their personal health. The Department of Sports Management had free Body Mass Index readings. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, BMI is calculated by an individual’s height and weight and may identify potential risks caused by weight. It is a low-cost way of finding out about weight problems, so it can be administered to many people. For adults, an index from 18.5 to 24.9 is healthy.
The KU Counseling Services emphasized stress relief for students. They held a stand for students to make stress balls as a way to manage stress. They also provided a great deal of information about reducing stress. They suggest exercising every other day, setting long and short term goals, developing a schedule, finding time to relax, thinking positively and communicating with others.
Drug abuse is another problem with young adults. Sonia Santiago of the Council on Chemical Abuse said bath salts and heroin are becoming consequential problems lately. According to their brochure, emergency calls dealing with bath salts have risen by nearly 400 from 2010 to 2011.
“Stay focused and stay in some kind of activity,” said Santiago, giving advice for students trying to prevent or halt drug use.
Two health networks were present at the event. The Lehigh Valley Health Network, located in Allentown, tested students on their knowledge of HIV and safe sex.
“Instead of them asking [questions], I ask them,” said Rob Pompa, the LVHN representative present.
LVHN also gave out free condoms at their stand, which many students took advantage of.
“Condoms are one effective, inexpensive tool to protect against HIV and AIDS,” said Pompa.
St. Joseph Medical Center, located in Reading, provided themselves as an alternative to the Health and Wellness Center on campus.
They gave free cholesterol screenings at one table. At another, students could win a free healthy snack by answering a question about a healthy diet. They also gave out information about managing a balanced diet, and getting healthy foods on a college budget. The dietician interns gave good advice about healthy eating. Allison Krippene, one of the interns, said to limit processed foods, since they are high in sodium. Adrienne Lepatoural, another intern, agreed that natural foods are better.
“Try to eat foods with as few ingredients as you can,” said Lepatoural.
The Kutztown Area Ambulance Service attended the event as well. Jeff Maust, a representative at their stand, said that students often asked questions about alcohol and what to do if someone passes out. They emphasized the Good Samaritan laws, which protect a person helping a person in an emergency.
Heart at KU, part of the Women’s center, offered advice for protection from sexual assault. Sara Grove, a graduate student involved in the organization, said awareness on campus is important for prevention. They hope to get more men involved and make women conscious of their right to consent in order to prevent sexual assaults from happening.
“Prevention is really important. The best way is if you see something, say something,” said Grove.
The students thought the expo was an interesting event to attend, since there was a large crowd present during the free hour.
“I like the different variety of information they have,” said Sophomore Brandon Nesmith, a Business Administration major, “It’s something to do.”
“It looks cool. There are a lot of different places to go to,” said Freshman Erin Bower, a Social Work Major.
It will continue to be a popular attraction for students, since it gives expert advice, free screenings and free samples and healthy snacks.
By Emily Leayman