By Caitlyn Morral
[Photo retrieved from sbu.edu]
St. Bonaventure University students were encouraged to sit back and relax during a weeklong series of events coordinated by the Wellness Center to help students relieve stress.
SOAR (Stressed, Overwhelmed, Anxious, RELIEF!) is a program that was introduced to campus by Barbara Trolley a Ph.D., counselor of the education program and chair of the disability committee. The program at St. Bonaventure launched on Sept. 21, and was intended to increase awareness and aid students who are dealing with stress.
“We started to talk this year about the issues of anxiety, stress and depression and how they can affect everyone on campus. The week was a collaborative process among all of the disability committee members,” said Trolley.
The week kicked off with a hip-hop dance session in the Richter Center on Monday, Sept. 21, and was followed by smoothies in the Hickey Dining Hall at lunchtime.
Wednesday, Sept. 23 was devoted to physical awareness with massage chairs in the Swan Atrium, an hour of meditation with professor emeritus Richard Riley and candlelight yoga in the university chapel with assistant curator at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts Sean Conklin.
The week ended with a poetry slam in Café La Verna on Thursday and a family fun run on Saturday.
Sophomore education major Madeleine Feddern was excited to participate in the different programs and said that she was glad that she chose to be a part of the meditation session.
“I really liked the meditation because it was not complicated and it gave me really good coping mechanisms,” said Feddern. “The instructor also knew what he was doing and the tactics that he showed us are ones that I am able to use every day.”
Junior journalism and mass communication major Riley Eike participated in the candlelight yoga.
“Most of my floor went to the candlelight yoga, and it was a lot of fun,” said Eike. “I am not so good at bending, but the instructor made it really basic so that it was more relaxing rather than challenging. Plus, being in the chapel with the lights off, candles burning and music playing was very relaxing.”
Other students, like freshman marketing major Caleb Johnson, enjoyed the idea of the school providing a healthy alternative with smoothies in the dining hall rather than the physical activities.
“I really hope that the school does another week like this again soon,” said Johnson.
Many, including freshman and finance major Leanna Donsky, are looking forward to the next time a week like this might be occurring.
“I think that it was a great idea and a chance to help us all unwind,” said Donsky. “It definitely helped students and it would be a great idea to have it again.”
The Wellness Center is located in Doyle Hall and offers individual and group counseling, as well as crisis intervention and prevention services from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Services are available from 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays with an appointment.