Monday, Sept. 30 to Friday, Oct. 4 was Health and Wellness Week at Kean University. During this week-long program, the Kean campus was treated to different events and activities that promoted mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health and provided everyone with knowledge of the resources Kean has to offer on and off campus. This all led up to the Health and Wellness Fair on Thursday, Oct. 3, which ran from 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Downs Hall.
Hosted by Robin Mansfield, the director of Student Health Services and the Kean Wellness Task Force, Health and Wellness Week was a time to promote healthy living to the Kean campus. Things like yoga, free HIV testing and guest speakers were provided each day to give students insight on how to live healthier in all senses of the word. The biggest event of the week was the Health and Wellness Fair, which brought all of these resources together for a fun and easy way for students to gather information. Mansfield mentioned exactly why this event was a good idea.
"I oversee the Kean Wellness Task force, and we decided that we wanted to introduce students to not only services on campus, but also a lot of the community service [activities], too. I have people come to my office from the community, and promote this or that program to our students, and I thought, 'What better way than to have a health fair?'" said Mansfield.
Mansfield and the Kean Wellness Task Force wanted to provide an opportunity for everyone to see what resources their campus had to offer. Different booths promoted this idea, like a booth dedicated to aroma therapy & stress relief, Afro-Latin Dance Project, Student Health Services, American Dental Center and many others that students may not have known about without this event. There were also fun activities, like a small Yoga class and a Zumba dance class earlier in the day, to keep spirits high and show people how they can stay healthy and have fun.
But this event was not just about learning, it was also about connections. Mansfield mentioned how she herself was able to make new connections that she could later refer to her students.
"It's given me a chance to connect with some of the community partners. There's an eye doctor that's real close to campus that I can refer students to. There's a dentist that's right down the road, so as a healthcare provider on campus, I know some people I can refer our students to now," said Mansfield.
The idea of meeting new people was echoed by Kevin Torres, a freshman at Kean University, who mentioned not only the connections he has started to make, but also some of the things he has learned while attending the event.
"I've always done my best to be aware of what's going on around me, especially since I'm going into the medical career myself, so this has been like a refresher," Torres continued, "I did learn about HPV and that [it] could be in anyone and nobody would even notice, so it's good to be aware of what's going on."
There were other students at the event, like Torres, who were brushing up on old information or learning something new about health, or themselves. For Mansfield, this was a great thing, as her hope was to have students be interactive and want to learn more about healthy living.
For anyone who opted out of the event, or missed their chance to go this year, Mansfield had this say:
"I think they missed a really fun time. We've had demonstrations, dancing [and] a lot of giveaways. A lot of the vendors have free stuff for the students, so they missed a good time and they missed the opportunity to learn some health and wellness tips."
Still, there is a chance for students to learn more about health and wellness through the Student Health Services on campus. For anyone who has questions or would like more information, they can contact Student Health Services at (908) 737-4880, visit their office in Downs Hall, Room 126 or check out their web page on the Kean University website.