Body Appreciation Week to Embrace Talents

Body Appreciation Week to Embrace Talents


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Acceptance of the individual's physical qualities is celebrated during Body Appreciation Week at SUNY Cortland.

SUNY Cortland’s 2012 Body Appreciation Week, themed “Be Free, Be You!” will feature events intended to promote body awareness and acceptance, from Monday, Feb. 27, to Friday, March 2.

Events presented as part of the College’s 14th annual Body Appreciation Week are free and open to the public.

 “Our purpose is to enlighten the campus on the dangers of disordered eating and make it a place where resources are available,” said Billie Jean Goff, interim director of the College’s Counseling Center and founder of the College’s Body Appreciation Week. “Above all, we just want people to be healthy. Healthy attitude, healthy behaviors, just enjoying life without obsessing over things like image or calories.”

From Feb. 27 through Thursday, March 1, a “Be Free, Be You!” poster and artwork exhibit will promote positive self image and awareness of eating disorders. The display may be viewed from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Corey Union Exhibition Lounge.

“We want people to appreciate themselves and what they have to offer beyond their body weight, shape or size,” Goff said of the exhibit.

To that end, a Coffee House featuring performances by student groups such as Kickline and A Capella will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 28. The performances begin at 7 p.m. in the Corey Union Function Room. An Open Mic night will follow.

As the highlight event of the week, Doris and Tom Smeltzer, the parents of a college student who lost her life to an eating disorder, will present the Wellness Wednesday discussion on Feb. 29. “Andrea’s Voice: Silenced by Bulimia” begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Corey Union Function Room.

A candlelight vigil sponsored by Delta Phi Epsilon will start the evening. The Smeltzers will discuss their daughter’s one-year battle with bulimia and take a deeper look into disordered eating from her parent’s perspective. A book signing and reception with the Smeltzers will immediately follow the presentation.

Faculty and staff of the College have the opportunity to donate $1 a day to wear jeans or dress down during Body Appreciation Week. All the proceeds will go toward the Michael Holland Scholarship Fund. Health Promotions Office interns will visit offices around campus with envelopes collecting the $1 donations on Friday, Feb. 24.

The College’s Body Appreciation Week is sponsored by Counseling and Student Development, Auxiliary Services Corporation, the President’s Office, the Vice President for Student Affairs’ Office, Residence Life and Housing, Campus Artist and Lecture Series, Athletics Department, Academic Support and Achievement Program, the Health Promotion Office, Delta Phi Epsilon, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Campus Activities and Corey Union, Student Activities Board, Residence Hall Association, Eta Sigma Gamma, the Health Club, Ames Linen and Women of Color.

For more information about Body Appreciation Week, Wellness Wednesdays, or for an individual with a disability to request physical accommodation to attend an event, contact Catherine Smith, the College’s health educator, in the Health Promotion Office, Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-1, or at (607) 753-2066.