Ahead of fifth annual Spooktacular, students groups promote wellness
The students handing out condoms and candy in Perkins and Trabant Student Centers aren’t just doing it for the laughs. Promoters of Wellness (POW), a division of Student Wellness & Health Promotion (SW&HP), passed them out to encourage healthy sexuality ahead of the Honors Program’s fifth annual Halloween Spooktacular, an alternative event for members of the student body to attend.
“On campus, there are always opportunities going on, particularly on this campus, which has a pretty heavy party atmosphere,” senior Kylie Taylor said. “It can be difficult to figure out a comfortable place to go and have fun.”
Taylor is a member of POW and the treasurer of Men Active in Societal & Cultural Change (MASCC). Both student groups are a part of SW&HP. According to her, within SW&HP, there are many student groups focused on providing wellness to students in a multitude of different ways. POW, however, focuses primarily on providing students with information so that they can feel empowered to make decisions for themselves about their wellness.
“I think a lot of people think this event is just trying to get people to stop drinking on campus, but Student Wellness and Health Promotion is really about informing people about alcohol consumption, as well as other facets of what health and wellness is,” Taylor said.
Other groups, such as MASCC, work on connecting with men on campus, and conducting a dialogue on gender-based violence. Collegiate Recovery Committee, however, focuses on students dealing with addiction.
Generally speaking, SW&HP tries to convey the topic of wellness to students on campus and, by providing alternative events like Spooktacular, create a safe environment for students who do not want to participate in the university’s party scene.
The groups included within SW&HP take an active role in planning the event. Many of them are stationed at kiosks in the student centers and advertise for the Spooktacular. However, in addition to being involved in the Spooktacular, the groups are also involved with other events throughout the school year.
OPT 4, an organization that creates events for students on campus, recently created a blacklight dodgeball event. Others, like Sexual Offense Support (S.O.S.) and POW, bring speakers to campus throughout the year.
Taylor attended the Spooktacular last year, and found that the festivities were geared towards all grades.
“They have really awesome food and lots of events that please people from a variety of levels.” Taylor said. “There was a tarot card reader last year and a henna artist, which was a really big hit. Even though there were tons of people there last year, there was so much to do that it didn’t seem like you were waiting a long time to do anything either.”
This year, the Spooktacular will be held on Oct. 28 in the Trabant Multipurpose Rooms from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. It will feature a DJ, caricature artist, palm reader and henna tattoo artist in addition to many more activities for students to participate in.
According to Taylor, SW&HP is expecting a higher turnout this year than in years past, as a result of the organization advertising more about the event, as well as to the large size of first-year students this year.
“It’s just a really great opportunity to hang out with some cool people, enjoy some fun Halloween activities, be in a safe environment, and learn how to be safe on Halloween and on campus,” Taylor said.