Arts & Culture / Mosaic / April 22, 2015

Health and Wellness Week: A Knox tradition in its infancy

On Wednesday afternoon, hungry students and cooking enthusiasts commenced the first-ever Health and Wellness Week by gathering at the Wilson House for a vegan cooking workshop.

“I thought the cooking workshop would be a really good way to incorporate eating sustainably into Health and Wellness Week,” sophomore and S.H.A.G. secretary Annalyn Chia said. “It was really important that we got to do the cooking class, but obviously the cooking class takes more time than just showing a movie or having a discussion, which is what we usually do.”

“I think it was really fun. I think everyone was having a good time. I think everyone was pumped to eat. It was great,” said senior Anna Marquez while relaxing between cooking jobs.

The workshop, in which students learned to cook a vegan, gluten-free coconut curry, initiated three days of healthy self-care events organized by the Student Health Advocacy Group (S.H.A.G.).

“This year, S.H.A.G. wanted to organize a week-long series of events, but it was actually [Chia’s] idea to do a smaller thing, so three days only,” junior and S.H.A.G. treasurer Stephanie Nguyen said. “We actually like [the three day schedule] better because we can focus more and see what people like and what people don’t like.”

As Health and Wellness Week is still in its prototypic phase, members of S.H.A.G. recognize the three day-long series of events as a departure from past S.H.A.G. functions.

“Past [iterations of] Health and Wellness Week have been very focused on sexual wellness. But now, we’re including mental or physical health,” Nguyen said.   

“We’re not just focusing on sexual health anymore. We want to do more of an all-encompassing thing. That’s why we have this food workshop while we’re gonna have a physical exercise workshop, but we’re also still showing a film to get back to our sexual health roots,” Chia said. “We also wanted to make the Health and Wellness Week more interactive than other S.H.A.G. events.”

Following Tuesday’s vegan cooking workshop, S.H.A.G. organized “Get Moving,” an outdoor yoga class led by academic coordinator and CTL counselor Laura Bush on Wednesday.

“We were really excited about the yoga classes. We also thought it was important to do it out in nature,” freshman and S.H.A.G. general member Jeri Rosenbloom said.

Although the coordinators have appreciated the support and feedback they received during Health and Wellness Week, they acknowledged the difficulties that went into organizing a first-time event of this scale.

“We sent out an email to see who’d be interested [in collaborating]. We wanted to collaborate with as many clubs as we can, clubs that you wouldn’t expect,” Nguyen said. “We tried to reach out, but because of timing and its coinciding with Earth Day, it became really stressful.”

The coordinators of Health and Wellness Week hope that through these events, students will learn to be more conscientious in making healthy decisions.

“We’re trying to make students be more conscious of making healthy decisions and eating better, eating vegan, and showing that it can actually be super fun and delicious,” Chia said.

Health and Wellness Week will culminate with a screening of “Orgasm Inc.,” a 2009 documentary about the production of a drug to combat female sexual dysfunction, in the Round Room this Friday at 6 p.m.

Stefan Torralba

Tags:  bodies cooking food health S.H.A.G. vegan week wellness Yoga

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