Networking out: Fitness Center to host wellness social


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At the social, students will be able to network with fitness professionals, said Stephanie Burda, senior television major.

By Campus Reporter

students will have the opportunity to begin “sweat-working” with their peers and local healthy living establishments starting this fall semester.

The Fitness Center will host its first wellness social Sept. 18, said Mark Brticevich, coordinator of Fitness, Athletics & Recreation.

The event, organized to promote healthy living at Columbia, is scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. at Stage Two in the 618 S. Michigan Ave. Building. There will be representatives from local gyms and vendors, guest speakers and a comedian at the event, said Stephanie Burda, a senior television major who helped organize the event with the Fitness Center staff.

“This is our first event like this,” Burda said. “It’s less of a fair than it is a social and a networking event.Columbia students love networking. We’re calling it a ‘sweat-working’ wellness social because we want professionals to have conversations with students, so we can build fitness and wellness.”

Representatives from Chiro One, a South Loop chiropractic office at 1101 S. Canal St. will be available to offer stress assessments, posture screenings and spinal checks for participating in students, according to Felicia Lee, a business development representative from Chiro One.

A Chiro One representative will also speak about posture and neck problems that students might develop from frequent use of phones or computers, Lee said.

“We have worked with Columbia to do health and wellness events for other student organizations that have gone well, so we have seen the students are interested in getting health information,” Lee said. 

Representatives from the American Liver Foundation, National Kidney Foundation and American Cancer Society will also attend the event to talk to students about health, according to Burda. The event will be catered by Protein Bar and other food vendors providing gluten-free and vegan options, Lee said.

“We want these professionals to have conversations with students so we can build fitness, wellness and all of these concepts as very relatable and more accessible,” Burda said. 

The comedian scheduled for the event, Jayson Acevedo, is set to perform a stand-up routine related to health and wellness. 

“[We want to] try to do it as a social where you can actually sit down and have a conversation with a professional and maybe have some guest speakers and entertainment,” Brticevich said.

The idea for this wellness social came about because—in the opinion of the Fitness Center’s staff—the wellness fairs held by Student Health & Support were unsuccessful in promoting wellness and fitness , according to Brticevich.

“[Burda] came up with the idea of making it a social because she did not want the students to feel like they were going to another regular health fair,” Lee said. “She wanted them to feel like they were going to a fun event.” 

Students have a hard time sticking with healthy habits because they do not know enough about wellness, adding that she hopes  this event will start to change that. 

“[This event] is trying to develop more community and get the message out to people who maybe haven’t heard it enough,” Brticevich said. “To get them to understand they deserve to be healthy, they can be healthy and being healthy doesn’t mean you give up all the fun in life.”