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Healthy living, student lifestyles meet in new magazine
Healthy living, student lifestyles meet in new magazineMay 05, 2003Erica Jaeger
Exercising, eating right, and establishing normal sleep patterns are often low priorities for students who are faced with the other pressures of college life. But adopting these behaviors may no longer be such a challenge for students at Syracuse University, thanks to a new student health newsmagazine. Healthy You @ SU; Mind, Body and Spirit, a collaborative project of the College of Human Services and Health Professions (HSHP) and the Division of Student Affairs, debuted in Fall 2002 as a pilot project meant to promote a healthy lifestyle among college students and create a healthier community at SU. A second issue is being published this spring.
“We want students to be aware of current health issues, which will help improve their well-being and lead to more success in the academic environment,” says Luvenia Cowart, assistant dean of student affairs and special projects in the HSHP and executive director of the publication.
Together with Dessa Bergen-Cico, director of SU’s Substance Abuse Prevention and Health Enhancement (SAPHE) Office, Cowart assembled a student-directed editorial board composed of members from a variety of academic concentrations. She and Bergen-Cico serve as advisors to the group.
The second issue features articles on a variety of topics, including body image, unhealthy dieting practices, positive peer relationships and the benefits of eating chocolate. Christine Vo, sophomore graphic arts major in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, is the student editor of the newsmagazine. Working with Cowart, she sets a story list that includes topics reflective of current health news and relevant to college students. “We tried to make the second issue even more attractive to students by adding more photos and presenting articles in an easy to read format,” she says.
Vo believes the experience has allowed her to improve her graphic design and layout skills and learn about editing techniques, and has also enabled her to work directly with other students. Sarah Young, a junior social work major and staff writer for the magazine, also finds her work on the project rewarding. In the forthcoming issue, her article on weight loss reflects on her own experience with dieting at college. “I wanted to share with other people how to lose weight in a healthy way, even while eating in the dining halls,” she says. “In my article I give tips on how I did it and I discuss the healthy eating choices I’m making now.”
Cowart thinks students value working on something that leads to change and hopes their involvement with the newsmagazine is a rewarding learning process. “Until we begin to develop positive health behaviors, we cannot form preventative health practices,” she says. “Healthy You @ SU makes SU students aware of health issues and how they can change and incorporate positive behaviors into their daily routines.”