Wellness Write-In

Wellness Write-In to allow academic engagement

Nov 1 • News, Top Stories • 227

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Gannon University’s Writing & Research Center (WRC) and Recreation and Wellness Center (RWC) are partnering for the second biannual Writing and Wellness Write-In.
Students are encouraged to stop by the RWC between 6-10 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, to discuss assignments with writing consultants, participate in active wellness breaks and learn more about developing healthy habits.
According to Elizabeth Kons, director of the Writing & Research Center and Humanities Tutoring, the idea to hold a Write-In on Gannon’s campus came from two places.
Kons noted that inspiration was found in a Science Daily article from July 2014. In the post, researchers stated that at Michigan State University, students who were participants in recreational wellness or fitness events had higher grade point averages than students who were not.
This is where the idea for collaboration between the WRC and RWC came in.
In addition, the International Writing Centers Association (IWCA) — a governing body for writing centers across the world —has helped encourage centers to hold annual “Write-In” style events to foster additional support for students to develop healthy writing habits.
The first Writing and Wellness Write-In was held in March 2016 and served 125 students who stayed for an average time of three hours.
The response from last year’s event was positive, and students who attended claimed that they felt less stressed about their papers after participating in the event.
The WRC, which is now part of the Learning Commons, is excited to grow the Write-In event in 2017 as it prepares for its move to the Nash Library during the grand opening in January.
Breeze Bowen, a sophomore environmental engineering student, attended the Write-In during its inauguration and now serves as a WRC consultant who will be working the upcoming event.
“I went to the Write-In expecting the event to be a waste of time; however, the event was very helpful,” she said.
“The Writing Center workers were eager to help, and the different perspectives and ideas helped me to finish my overall paper.”
Kons said that she understands college students are unlikely to stop cramming and procrastinating, however, she hopes the event will teach students how to meet deadlines in a healthier manner.
“What I see a lot are students putting all of their energy into last-minute deadlines before breaks, and then they go home and they get sick because their immune systems are shot,” she said.
“Students deserve to go home and enjoy their breaks. So, if we can get them to procrastinate a little less, add some exercise, some healthy food and some tips for keeping their stress down, maybe they can have it all.”
This year’s event will once again feature focused study “pods” with specific working environments ranging from silent to high stimulation.
Food will also be provided for participants.
According to Ashley Kolniak, coordinator of special events and memberships at the Recreation and Wellness Center, nutrition is one aspect of physical wellness students should consider.
“We encourage students to think about healthy alternatives to the food that may not be the most nutritious option,” she said.
The current menu for the event includes a healthy “walking taco” made of lean ground turkey, whole grain chips and vegetable toppings.
In addition, there will be a “brain food” table with information to learn about how certain foods increase cognition and help maintain brain functioning.
Throughout the event, students can find fruit and healthy snacks dispersed among their work areas so they can continue working without needing to get up to grab a snack.
Other wellness items participants can look forward to utilizing include active work stations such as tables with stability ball chairs, treadmill desks and stability boards.
The Write-In will help promote many of the RWC’s dimensions of wellness. According to Amy Benkovich, a freshman journalism communication major and RWC staff writer, “The Wellness Write-In is a great opportunity for students to get help on their papers and socialize with others in a way to fortify their intellectual wellness.”
Faculty members are also invited to participate and are encouraged to bring their own writing projects to work on.
Students interested in attending the Write-In can preregister at gannon.mywconline.com by using the drop down menu and selecting “Writing and Wellness Write-In.”
KATE ROBB
robb004@knights.gannon.edu

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