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SHAC helps students care for their health

With the pressure of finals week at its apex, many of us are doing everything we can to reduce stress and ward off illness.

Just as the anxiety is about to overwhelm us and that pesky cough begins to turn into something much more menacing and debilitating, there shines a beacon of hope: a group whose function is to spread awareness of disease prevention and ensure that we have the best quality of care. The group is Student Health Advisory Committee.

Still in its planning stages, SHAC was brought to Eastern University by Janet Topper, director of health services at Eastern. Topper hopes to turn SHAC into a full-fledged committee with regular monthly meetings next September. SHAC is described by Topper as “a group of students with a passion to help others who want to make a tangible change in student health.”

The committee will serve as a sounding board for student questions and concerns regarding the quality of health care on campus through interaction with other groups on campus. SHAC will help spread awareness of prevalent health issues.

SHAC will use a holistic approach to address issues of “body, mind, and spirit” in accordance with both Eastern’s mission statement and the biblical mandate to take care of our bodies. “It is a matter of stewardship,” Topper said.

We must take care of our bodies not just to be good stewards, but because the implications of how we take care of ourselves (or don’t) are ever-present. For example, many of us will forego sleep, exercise and healthy eating to make more time for studying and school work. But in reality, the extra time gained by focusing on schoolwork is a waste if our bodies aren’t functioning the way they should be.

Plans for next year are already being formulated. Some proposed ideas include offering students innovative ideas for how to eat healthfully and mindfully in the Dining Commons. Another idea is to bring in a masseuse during finals week to help relieve stress, if only for a few minutes. SHAC is open to all students from all different backgrounds. Anyone interested in joining SHAC and spreading the joy of good health is advised to be on the lookout for news and information via e-mail next semester. 

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