Low attendance at the Wellness Fair raises questions

Setodzi Avoke
Staff Writer

Limited participation in last week’s Wellness Fair was due to a lack of awareness.

“I seem to recall there might’ve been a mention in one of those announcement emails they send out, but I probably wasn’t paying a lot of attention at that time,” Megan Ann Morrison, biological science major said. “Perhaps [administration should] research a better way to inform the student body, perhaps using more posters or those little flat screen TVs they have all over campus.”

The Wellness Fair, serving as showcase for over a dozen causes related to healthcare and community activism, included contributions of local health-related companies and programs such as the Addictions Care Center of Albany, Honest Weight Food Co-op and Fidelis Care.

Located in the Campus Center, the Wellness Fair had occurred in an area of high traffic. An event announcement was placed on the website’s event calendar and the Campus Chronicle, flyers posted campus-wide and an email notification directly into student inboxes, yet very few even knew the fair was taking place.

Brendan Singletary, physical education major, did not recall seeing any advertising for the fair. “I actually did not hear about it at all,” he said.

However, Singletary said, had he known about it, it was likely that he would have attended.

“I definitely would have gone because I like to go to things on campus. A lot of people would’ve went because why not learn a couple things? I’m going to be a grown adult later on in life, so I might as well learn about these things now rather than later when I’m down the road and I’m like, oh crap,” he said.

Individual studies major Ralph Cartel said he would, “possibly go if he knew what it was about.” Cartel suggested both greater forewarning and that the Wellness Fair be held in the cafeteria, saying “a more central place” would help raise awareness and attendance.

Health and wellness is a big part of going to college according to Jillian Flanagan, international relations major. “People need to be more aware of that kind of stuff,” he said.

Larry Ellis, associate director for the counseling side of the Health and Wellness Center, said “It’s a hit or miss with student turnout when we have different events. Weather plays a major role in it. It was a beautiful day that day, and when it’s beautiful outside, a lot of students don’t come into the Campus Center.”

Ellis stressed that participation in campus events must be mutual and that information is in the students’ hands already.

“[Students] have to read the fliers, read their own email, read the chronicle,” he said.

Ellis thanked everyone who supported the event, even if they didn’t attend, by saying, “Thank you. We’ll continue looking forward to keep working with this community and also hopefully these students who will start spreading the word out.”

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