Students walking to class on the Drillfield yesterday were met with a barrage of bubbles.
The bubbles were part of Positivity Day, which was sponsored by the Health and Wellness Group of Leadership Tech. Booths from various sponsors and clubs lined the walkways, promoting different aspects of mental health and well being.
“Our theme is relaxation. We wanted to focus on doing something interactive, but still fun and relaxing,” said Laurie Fritsch, a health educator with Schiffert Health Center. “So we chose bubbles, not only because they’re fun, but to emphasize the need for students to take deep breaths and unwind. So far, it’s been a lot of fun — everybody has brought a good energy.”
Schiffert was one of many sponsors teamed up with Leadership Tech to put on Positivity Day. Various groups associated with both Tech and mental wellness showed support for the event, bringing activities, free food, games and features.
A popular feature of the event was a dog petting zoo, provided by students of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, as well as an interactive yoga station provided by the yoga instructors of Tech Recreational Sports.
“We’re trying to create awareness for yoga,” said Jennifer Sayre, a sociology major and yoga instructor with Rec Sports. “We want people to know you can make a positive change in your life through yoga, and its unification of the mind and body.”
Sayre guided informal yoga sessions to small groups of students walking by, with Rec Sports providing yoga mats, blocks and straps.
Many groups spread their messages of positivity with tips on stress relief and their physiological advantages.
There were also representatives handing out information to students from The Raft Crisis Hotline, American Medical Students Association, Cook Counseling Center and LGBTA.
The LGBTA took photos of students willing to join its Ally Campaign. Students displayed messages on a whiteboard, before being photographed in front of a rainbow-colored backdrop.
“We want to show the LGBTA has a diverse community, and even if you’re not an LGBT, you can be an A — an ally of our cause,” said Chris Hickey, a biosystems engineering graduate student and treasurer of Queer Grads and Allies.
Leadership Tech challenged the Health and Wellness Group to put on an awareness event that would address student health issues — the group used the opportunity to deviate from the norm.
“We developed the idea last semester,” said Jill Fahrbach, a biological systems major and member of Leadership Tech. “There’s been a lot of events promoting alcohol awareness or physical health. So we decided to promote mental health instead, and the health benefits of positive thought.”
The event came to fruition with the help of sponsors willing to spread the word on the benefits of mental wellness.
“Everything got rolling when we partnered with Cook Counseling Center,” said Ali Stowe, an education leadership and policy studies major, and graduate facilitator for Leadership Tech. “From there we were able to get great sponsors, like Raft Crisis Hotline and Big Brothers, Big Sisters. It seems to be going really great, and candy helps for sure.”