by Kassandra Swiontek 

Girl petting dogs

Sophomore Samrawet Bekele with therapy dogs, a favorite part of the annual health fair (photo courtesy of Kassandra Swiontek).

The health and wellness fair was popular amongst University of Northwestern – St. Paul students again this year. The fair was held on Wednesday, February 21 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Students crowded in to the Billy Graham Community Life Commons to take part in the events held and to take advantage of the resources that were offered.

Some events that were advertised included the photo booth, stress relieving coloring table, relaxation area, therapy dogs, Olson brothers’ chiropractic free messages, depression screening and Jimmy Johns free sandwiches. There were also other booths set up at the fair to offer knowledge or support. Booths such as BioLife, M.A.D.D., Melrose Center, Park Dental, Ramsey County Sheriff, Run-N-Fun, spiritual wellness, Title Boxing, Title IX and Wellspring Group offered resources to students.

In order to entice students to take advantage of the health and wellness fair, there were prizes for attendees of the event. One entry into the hourly drawing was received for visiting the fair. Prizes included bookstore certificates, a fleece blanket, sonicare toothbrush, Trader Joe’s groceries and athletic wear. There were also cards that could be stamped at each booth, and the card that received ten stamps got put into a drawing for a grand prize. President Alan Cureton donated this year’s grand prize of two tickets to the Mercy Me and Tenth Avenue North concert.

The health and wellness fair brings together a variety of services for students. Josie Kawlewski, a senior English major stated, “I really like that they bring off-campus services and on campus services together so students get full opportunities.”

An on-campus service offered was a discussion on sleep at the counseling services booth. Maddie Johnson, the intern of counseling services, said “there is a correlation between quality sleep and GPA.” Students were able to go to the booth and have an open conversation about how their sleep habits were affecting their college experience. The counseling services booth offered free sleep masks and ear plugs for anyone in hopes they have a better sleep experience.

An off-campus service that was offered was a therapy dog session. Students were able to interact with the therapy dogs in efforts to release stress. Some believed the event was the highlight of the fair. “Let’s be real, therapy dogs were hands-down the best event of the year,” Kawlewski said.

The dogs offered a sense of joy to stressed out college students. Sabrina Willette, a senior youth and family studies major, “I love not only being able to pet the dogs, which is a great stress relief, but being able to see the joy that others find in the fair and the dogs.”

The dogs that made an appearance to the fair were named Charger, Preston, Billy, Hubble, Griffen and Elsa.

Another off-campus service offered was the Olson Brothers Chiropractic. They offered health surveys, to scale your chiropractic needs. Two message chairs were set up to give free messages to students and staff.

Kawlewski said, “I’m glad this year the fair was such a good turnout.”

 

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