Have you noticed an unusual amount of happy, healthy students on campus this week?  This is probably because of Healthy Bodies Week, a yearly week-long event sponsored by Goshen Student Women’s Association, kicked off on Monday.  Many events happen daily. Some highlights so far have been Monday’s convocation on creating a healthy community, a belly dancing class led by local instructor Melanie Wade, women’s body casting and yoga led by Kara Schmidt of Sacred Heart Yoga.

The week was planned by a committee of GSWA with the help of other members and friends.  Ingrid Derstine, a member of this committee, says that the group looked at the events of previous years and considered what the current GC population would enjoy.  She also says that personal interests were involved in the decision-making as well, noting that GSWA is a group that is dedicated to spreading the word about issues that members feel are important.

So far their efforts have been extremely rewarding, with large turnouts at activities such as belly dancing and body casting.  Derstine notes that the feedback she’s received has been positive, saying that many have conveyed how powerful it is to bond over the healthy bodies theme.

Derstine feels that this theme is especially important for college students because of our susceptibility to media messages about what constitutes a ‘perfect’ body.

“Because we are here together in this time and place, we rely on each other for support and respect, making this a great chance to come together and celebrate what we believe to be healthy and not what society is telling us.”

Events scheduled for Thursday and Friday include a group discussion about gender, sex and sexuality, a convocation focused on scripture from a female perspective and the Michiana Monologues as a culmination of the week’s events.

“In my opinion, the planning of these events is minor compared to the energy and passion that students bring to them,” says Derstine, “The rest of the week still has more exciting things to look forward to, and I can't wait to see what else the GC community has in store.”