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Healthapalooza Highlights New Emphasis on Student Health

09/22/11
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By Melissa Beecher | Chronicle Staff

Published: Sept. 22, 2011

On Oct. 5, O’Neill Plaza will transform into a veritable student health Mecca as the University’s first “Healthapalooza” takes over.  

Yoga classes, chair massage, cooking demonstrations and samples of locally grown and produced foods are just some of the services that will be made available to students free of charge through the new Office of Health Promotion.  

Director of Health Promotion Elise Tofias Phillips said Healthapalooza is a collaboration between more than a dozen offices, departments and organizations across the University.   

“Healthapalooza is the official Health Promotion kick-off event that brings together our community partners to celebrate student health, introduce students to our new initiatives and resources, and connect students to valuable health and wellness resources that exist across campus,” said Phillips. “We want this to be a celebration of student health and for everyone to have a lot of fun.”  

Said Vice President for Student Affairs Patrick Rombalski, “Healthapalooza is a symbolic step for the University because it marks an important shift in our attention to health. Now more then ever we are focused on prevention and wellness. In the Jesuit ideal, a healthy person is healthy in all dimensions — physical, social, spiritual and intellectual. We also recognize that many factors lead to good health, such as student culture, the campus environment, family situations, hours of sleep, good nutrition, healthy relationships, positive self-image, and so many others.  

“The Office of Health Promotion and their kick-off event will serve as one beacon to remind us that we must work together as a community to provide a healthy campus for our students.”  

Healthapalooza will also serve as the launch of Health Promotion’s “Be Chill” campaign, which encourages students to participate in activities that promote healthy lifestyles. Students who attend Healthapalooza will receive all kinds of BC gear – t-shirts, sunglasses, healthy food and more – as well as information and resources related to stress reduction, yoga and meditation, nutrition, fitness and exercise, spiritual health, and other health-related topics, organizers say.    

“In this sometimes stressful academic and social environment, students will be reminded of the importance of individual health and self-care as an essential foundation to achieving all other goals,” said co-organizer Assistant Dean of Alcohol and Drug Education Robyn Priest.   

In addition to bringing together Health Promotion’s partners, Healthapalooza will formally mark the introduction of student health coaches: students will be trained and certified through Health Promotions to work with peers individually and in small groups on various health topics, including individual health plans, stress and time management, nutrition, relationship violence, bystander intervention education and alcohol and drug education.   

“I would say that any discussion, program or event that sheds light on student health issues is of the utmost importance,” said co-organizer Don Camelio, program administrator for Drug and Alcohol Education. “Our students are incredibly driven, busy people and often times they neglect their health and wellness needs to satisfy their other goals and aspirations.    

“Hopefully, Healthapalooza will put all of these very important needs at the forefront of our students' thoughts and encourage them to be mindful of the bigger picture. The idea that they need their health to be truly happy and successful,” said Camelio.   

Health Promotion’s partners for Healthapalooza are Athletics, Counseling Services, Health Services, the Women’s Resource Center, Sexual Assault Network Support Services, Flynn Recreation Complex, Student EMS, and the offices of Mission and Ministry, Alcohol and Drug Education, Nutrition Education and Counseling.   

Dining Services, Boston College Police Department, Campus Ministry, Undergraduate Government of Boston College, the Center for Student Formation, BC Recreation, the BC Cheerleaders, Baldwin the Eagle and the BC Bookstore also have provided support for Healthapalooza. The rain date is Oct. 12 if needed. Check BCInfo for updates. 

For more information, see the website www.bc.edu//healthpro/