Week of Wellness

By Justina Kilumelume

Prizes for students provided by local vendors, the Health Center, and the Bookstore.

A representative for Gazelle Sports displayed her wares at the Wellness Fair.

Lindsey Koenig ''14 represents S3A. Students were asked to write down why they stand with supervisors of sexual assault as a part of a new campaign headed by the group.

Fourth week at Kalamazoo College was filled with activities for the Week Of Wellness (WOW), an annual wellness program at K.

The Week of Wellness is a program organized by the Health Center and the Counseling Center in order to remind faculty and students about the importance of wellness, as well as help students cope with midterm stress and get through the cold winter months.

Among the many events were cardio and strengthening-intensive workouts with the K Team, the Wellness Fair, and the weekly Community Reflection.

The main goal of WOW is to remind the K community that there are many components to achieving wellness.

“Most people think that if they are not sick, then they are well. But health means more than that,” said Jenifer Combes, the Office Coordinator of Student Health and Counseling Centers.

“It includes physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, interpersonal, social, and environmental well-being.”

The Wellness Fair included different stations with information about healthy practices and resources. There was also information on health services and resources located both on-campus and off-campus for the K community.

The tables included Seasonal Affective Disorder lights from the library, snacks and a nutritionist from Kalamazoo College Dining Services, and representatives from the Counseling Center, S3A, Gazelle Sports, Sol Spring Spa and Wellness Center, Austrins Family Dentistry, People’s Food Co-op, and Walgreens.

Some students who took part in the raffle left with prizes such as sleds, workout videos, and Kalamazoo College merchandise.

Kalamazoo College Peer Health Advocates, who presented different ways we can improve the different aspects of our health, sponsored the Community Reflection last Friday.

Among the many points expressed was the importance of humor, reducing stress levels, and having a willingness to let things go and accept that not everything is in your control. The speech also emphasized the importance of a supportive community and family who can help in our efforts to achieve wellness.

In a presentation, one of the Peer Health Advocates, Roderick Vogel ’16, admitted that it’s not easy for people to make all these changes on their own, but lessons they learn can be “applied over time and with patience and determination we can create a healthier community of our own in Kalamazoo.”

The Community Reflection was to help people walk away feeling more knowledgeable about overall physical, mental, and emotional health so that they can better themselves and those around them.


A Fluffball-a-Day Keeps the Doctor Away: Why Small Pets Should be Allowed on Campus

By Emily Pizza, Opinions Editor

Dewey the dog poses in Crissey Residence Hall (Photo by Emily Pizza)

Next door to me lives a dog named Dewey. Every time I see his owner, one of the residential life area coordinators, walking him down the hallway my heart always skips a beat as I reach down to pet him.

Too bad the feeling never lasts.

Due to school policy, students are not allowed to have pets on campus, unless they plan on bonding with a goldfish. While the policy was put in place to protect students with allergies or a fear of animals, as well as the dangers they may pose, I feel the school needs to create some leeway.

I agree with the school’s policy for dogs and cats, animals that people are often allergic to or afraid of, but it creates a very narrow scope of animals allowed on campus. There are many animals such as rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, or lizards who do not pose this sort of threat.

That said, no animal should be brought onto campus without the roommate’’s consent, and if that consent is broken the animal should be removed within 24 hours. That way, roommates can still be comfortable in their living spaces.

As Dana Jansma, the Associate Dean of Students understands, pets have many benefits for students.  According to a survey in Science Daily, “…found that nearly a quarter of college students surveyed believed their pets helped them get through difficult times in life.”

Considering that 1 in 5 undergradruatess are consistently stressed, according to NBC News, the worst thing you can do is destroy one of our coping mechanisms.

While organizations such as the Zookeepers help bring students closer to animals, the organization can only do so much. When a student is pacing in their room, terrified about their upcoming test, being able to cuddle with a hamster or let a snake slither up their arm could be the solace they needed.

One study reports that “when people were presented with stressful tasks in four different situations – alone, with their spouse, with their pet, or with both their spouse and their pet – they experienced the lowest stress response and the quickest recovery in the situation where they were only with their pet.”

This means that while talking to one’’s roommate may be helpful, the best type of de-stressing is with a furry companion. If the College is willing to put money into the Counseling Center, the least they can do is allow students to find their own coping mechanisms, as well.

Green Dot Strategy: How a Community Can Save Lives

By Emily Pizza, Opinions Editor

4 a.m. on a Saturday during their freshman year, Rachel Evans and her roommate woke up to a couple in another room screaming at each other about something that happened earlier at a party. Evans and her roommate were at a loss as to what action to take.

“They were just like yelling and crying and it was awful but…my roommate and I were just lying there thinking ’’well, what should we do? Do we go get the RA?’’” said Evans.

Eventually the arguing stopped and the roommates went back to sleep, but the next morning Evans reflected on the severity of the incident.

“…I was thinking ‘wow, that could be a potentially harmful situation…like if that happens again I should do something about that’,” she said.

To help solve the problem of conflicted bystanders to red dot situations like this, the green dot strategy has been adopted by Kalamazoo College’s campus led by the Counseling Center and Office of Student Involvement.

“What we’ve been doing in the area of sexual assault prevention hasn’t been tremendously effective,” Counseling Center psychologist Deborah Rose said. “ [so] I started looking around at bystander interventions, fell over green dot and thought ‘this is my answer’.”

This program, originating from the University of Kentucky, attempts to move away from the “attacker” and  “victim” roles and give a job to bystanders who often feel excluded from conversations about sexual assault.

“[This program] will kind of awaken the sense of ‘oh yeah, this does happen to me, I can relate to this’…and awaken a sense in people that it is not only okay to intervene, but that it’s desirable to intervene,” Rose said.

This strategy hit home with Evans, who believes that members of the Kalamazoo College community have a responsibility to help each other in dangerous circumstances.

“This is a small tight-knit community, we should all help each other out,” Evans said. “Even if it doesn’t seem like its your place… If the people really don’t want your help they’ll push you away, but if it might be helpful then maybe that was the help they needed.”