Photo by Sylvia Hartley
The Healthy 2020 Coalition plans to introduce a new program called Healthy Happy Hour during dead week this semester to encourage students to eat healthy, take part in activities, meet new people and have fun.
Campus Recreation Assistant Director Denton Jones said the main goal for the kickoff event is to engage students.
“Details we’re still working out, but just in general, we want it to be kind of a fun place students can just go to hang out, but there to be some kind of healthy learning or healthy activities they can take part in, and it [will be] just a place to meet people,” he said.
The Healthy 2020 Coalition is comprised of several groups, including the Counseling Center, Campus Recreation, the Health Center and various representatives, professors and administrators. According to Ima Idahosa, who represents the Student Government Association in the coalition, the goal of Healthy 2020 is “to improve the health of the entire campus community and create social and physical environments that promote good health for our campus.”
Though SGA will not be involved in planning the events, it both advocates for and helps fund the program. SGA passed a resolution April 1 that granted $5,000 to help fund the program, which may later be adjusted according to need. Jones said the money will likely mostly pay for food samples.
Jones said Healthy Happy Hour will tentatively be held monthly during the fall and spring semesters in Joslyn Plaza or the Howard A. White Center. Each event will likely include free samples and healthy snacks, healthy recipes, music, optional games or physical activities and some educational components. The events will be open to all students, who are encouraged to come and go as they please.
Though Campus Recreation, the Health Center and other organizations may table during the events to distribute information, Jones said Healthy Happy Hour will not be lecture-style teaching.
“If you’re going to learn something, it would be kind of in the context of a fun, playful activity,” he said. “We want it to be a place where they can come and hang out first, get a healthy snack [and] maybe learn something while they’re there.”
Sophomore Elizabeth Birmingham said she thinks Healthy Happy Hour will be a good opportunity to explore healthy snack options.
“I think it’s nice to get away from most of the snacks that are available here,” she said, referencing “go-to snacks” like chips, starches and the same daily fruit and vegetable options. Additionally, she said she thought games and activities would be good for building community.
Sophomore Jimmy Koo said it would give students a chance to eat healthy food and learn about improving their lifestyle. While he does not think that having the event close to finals will reduce stress, he said he does see one benefit:
“It would certainly let people know [that] to eat healthier during finals actually helps you do better,” Koo said.
Jones originally had the idea for Healthy Happy Hour after Campus Recreation distributed green smoothie samples to students last St. Patrick’s Day. He said he brought the idea to the Healthy 2020 Coalition hoping that “they can take it over and run with it.”
SGA became involved after Idahosa shared the idea proposal with the other SGA members.
“Everyone thought it was a great idea, because as students we get really overwhelmed and stressed during the day, so it’s nice to just have a break,” she said.
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