Healthapalooza Features University’s Health And Safety Offices
Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2013 02:09
Food tastings, chair massages, meditation, and an obstacle course were just some of the activities available to the Boston College community on Wednesday, Sept. 25. The third annual “Healthapalooza” transformed O’Neill Plaza into a center for student health and safety.
Sponsored by the Office of Health Promotion (OHP) in collaboration with over a dozen campus health partners, Healthapalooza serves to promote student wellness while raising awareness of the valuable health resources that exist across campus.
“We want the community to know that BC values health and safety and hope this event is an opportunity to gather and connect with campus resources that will be helpful in day-to-day life,” said Elise Tofias Phillips, director of OHP, in a statement.
Organizations from all across campus, including Campus Recreation, BCPD, Dining Services, Campus Ministry, Information Technology Services, The Women’s Resource Center, and many more, had booths and information at the event. The variety of participating departments exemplifies BC’s recognition of the many factors that contribute to good health and safety.
Campus Ministry’s “What’s on Your Plate?” activity encouraged students to examine their metaphorical plate of physical, social, spiritual, and intellectual obligations. “Visually mapping out your life makes it easier to recognize if it’s balanced or if there are areas you need to work on,” said Campus Minister Ellen Modica.
“The conversation that follows is the most important aspect. When students recognize imbalance we want to make sure they are aware of all the resources, in Campus Ministry and across campus, that are available to help them create a balanced life,” Modica said.
Healthapalooza also launched OHP’s new health campaign, “Nourish.”
“Nourish is a healthy eating campaign intended to broaden students’ knowledge of nutrition while decreasing barriers to eating well and healthy lifestyles,” said Sarah Bender, student health coach and CSON ’14.
In partnership with Dining Services, Nourish will encourage students to choose foods that will provide energy and boost productivity, in addition to fostering life-long healthy eating habits. The campaign is based on six key nutritional messages and will help students implement these changes through various programs and events.
“Health coaches will lead dining hall tours to provide students with specific examples of healthy choices available in the dining halls,” Bender said. “The first lecture for Nourish is on Oct. 10, with the nutritionist for the Red Sox speaking. It’s very exciting because there will be a lot of really great events and activities related to this campaign.”
One of the most notable additions to this year’s event was the “Eagle Apocalypse” disaster obstacle course at the Emergency Preparedness booth. With a $50 gift card to the Bookstore on the line, participants raced through the course consisting of simulated power outages, earthquakes, fires, and other challenges requiring skills taught at the various booths at Healthapalooza.
“September is National Preparedness Month and following the Marathon bombings last spring, we recognized the vitality of ensuring that the BC community is prepared for any emergency,” said John Tommaney, Director of the Office of Emergency Management and Preparedness.
“By getting students making the obstacle course competitive and fun, but also realistic, we’ve had very active engagement. This experience is something that will stay with participants. By creating a teachable moment out of it, we are able to successfully prepare them for actual emergencies.”
The importance of community in promoting health and safety at BC was prominent throughout Healthapalooza. “Improving health and safety is imperative to both individual well-being and strengthening the community—it can change or save a life,” Tommaney said.