On Monday, Oct 23, University of Maine Campus Recreation held the “UMaine Health and Wellness Fair” in the New Balance Recreation Center. Vendors, campus clubs and organizations set up tables to provide advice on healthy habits and information about their services.
Among the handful of tables was the Athletes for Sexual Responsibility’s table, which was managed by former UMaine Football player, DeAndre Scott.
Athletes for Sexual Responsibility is a semester-long training program that engages athletes as role models. The program encourages athletes to make the right decisions involving consent, sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention and overall sexual conduct.
“Basically what this program is about is athlete sexual responsibility. We just want everybody to be safe… basically using protection and knowing when to walk away,” Scott said.
For Scott, motivation to promote sexual responsibility comes from a will to represent responsible athletes and a sense of protectiveness for his loved ones.
“I have a mother, a grandmother, a niece and a cousin, so I feel like females are very important and more people need to understand that, and if I can support that in any way I can, I will,” Scott said.
In the near future Athletes for Sexual Responsibility will be holding the “Walk to End Violence Against Women,” a demonstration where members will literally walk a mile in women’s shoes.
The Vegan Education and Empowerment Coalition also had a table at the Health and Wellness Fair. UMaine students and coalition members answered questions about veganism and quelled some of the common misconceptions surrounding veganism.
“People just think that you can’t get protein, or enough of it, as a vegan…the diet is all inclusive of all your needs like your micronutrients, your macro nutrients; you can get everything from vegetables, fruits, grains,” Tyler Cote, a fourth-year student and vice president of the coalition, said.
Cote and fourth-year Christina Koumpouras also shared their personal stories of becoming vegan. Cote lost over 100 pounds after becoming vegan.
“From personal experience, it helped me develop a mentality that made me gravitate towards healthy habits as a whole,” Cote said.
Koumpouras, who just became vegan four months ago, described the immediate benefits. Koumpouras didn’t think she would become vegan when she began researching the diet, but the results were too good to pass up.
“The first couple days I was on a high. I had so much energy, and it was immediate results. I started feeling better, you know, just inside and out, mentally, and physically and knowing that I was eating cruelty-free and putting healthy things in my body,” Koumpouras said.
Orono Police Administrative Assistant, Jessica Mason, and Orono Police officer, Dara Angello, tabled for the Orono Police Department’s Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) program. The program consists of 12 hours of free self-defense instruction created by the International Rape Aggression Self Defense Systems.
“We teach women on what to look out for… we teach you how to hit the pads, to use force and what you would do in a situation that may require it,” Mason said.
The class is usually broken up into four three-hour classes. In the last class, participants can use what they have learned in a simulated self-defense situation. The next available classes will be Nov. 29 to 30 and Dec. 6 to 7.
The Exercise is Medicine Initiative also had a table at the fair. Exercise is Medicine is an initiative that has been adopted by college campuses worldwide; the goal is to encourage primary care providers to prescribe exercise and part of their treatment plans for patients.
President Susan Hunter officially adopted the initiative on behalf of UMaine on Sept. 6, and declared October “Exercise is Medicine on Campus Month.”
“The plan is to have Cutler [the health center] doctors to prescribe their patients and have them come work out here and work with our trainers….It just focuses on physical activity, just getting people out there and not being lazy,” Camilla Ceccarelli, who tabled for Exercise is Medicine at the fair, said.
Ceccarelli also mentioned that the initiative would provide an internship opportunity for kinesiology students. The internship involves training and exercising with the patients’ prescribed exercise.