Balance Health Educators prepare a loaded slate of fall events
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 10:10
Students can stress over classes, midterms or organizational commitments and often forget to take care of themselves and maintain an internal balance. The Balance Health Educators (BHEs, pronounced “bees”) are a campus organization that provides students with personal, strategic tools to manage such stress
“Our focus is on sleep, nutrition, stress reduction, exercise,” president Elize Huang ’13 said.
“Each person has their own definition of balance, but there are some common themes, such as not being stressed out, [and relying on] friendship,” vice president Elizabeth McLoughlin ’14 said. “We want to make sure that students have the tools and resources necessary to accomplish whatever balance is to them.”
Though the organization is only a few years old, the BHEs are growing fast. There are currently between 16 and 20 active members. “The dorms used to have health reps and we evolved from them,” Huang said.
Especially through forums such as House Councils, the BHEs have developed a strong presence on campus. They have hosted events that vary from the serious to the quirky, ranging from alcohol information sessions to aromatherapy and hugs from members dressed in bee costumes.
The BHEs often collaborate with the Mental Health Educators (MHEs), the Sexual Health Educators (SHEs) and the libraries. However, they work mostly with Health Services and the Stone Center. “This year [Health Services] has decided to have themes every month. We’ve decided to work with these themes,” Huang said.
Since this month’s theme is sleep and stress management, the BHEs are hosting specific events in the residence halls. One of their goals this year is to have a campus-wide event. Another is to encourage students to visit the Stone Center when they need to.
“Every semester we have therapy dogs during reading period,” McLoughlin said. “We’re trying to make that more regular—maybe weekly or biweekly—at the Stone Center.”
“It’ll get more people to the Stone Center, [be] de-stigmatizing. Everyone needs help once in a while,” Huang said.
The BHEs have plans to expand the organization and draw more students to their events. Alison Nikyar ’15, the group’s liaison to health organizations, hopes that there will be more dialogue among the BHEs, the residence halls and the Stone Center. “Some people go [to the Stone Center] for very small things,” Nikyar pointed out.
“I see us having a larger presence on campus. But I don’t want us to get too big. We’ll lose our closeness,” McLoughlin said.
The BHEs are certainly a dynamic group, and members find that simply belonging to the group helps them stay balanced. “I have to practice what I preach!” Huang joked.
“You not only make other people happy and balanced, you make yourself [happy and balanced],” Nikyar said.