Sneak preview of DEP Health Fair

Maris Lambie, Staff Writer

The new semester has just begun, but campus organizations are already planning ahead.

Juniors in SUNY Buffalo State’s dietitian education program (DEP) are already planning their health fair, which will be open to all students and staff on November 10 in the Campbell Student Union. The fair will be running from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“One half of our class is organizing the health fair and the other half is planning the chili sale.” Junior DEP major Racquel Praino said.

“The fair will be set up like an expo. It is open to all staff and faculty, students, or outside visitors,” Praino said. “We will have one or two tables from each organization, which visitors can hop table to table and see what interests them. We will have several interactive stations, like the portion control table and Pilates demo, which guests may participate in.”

“We want to get as much as we can that pertains to Health: nutritional, physical, mental and emotional,” Jenna Guadagna, a junior dietetic education major, said. “We are still inviting people to table and waiting for responses. But so far I think we have a really dynamic set up for the four health categories that I mentioned.”

The DEP are still currently waiting to hear back from some organizations. However, the organizations that will be at the fair include West Side Youth Development Coalition, Prevention Focus with alcohol/drug prevention, Family Care PT, Rite Aid, Argo Tea, USG Dental Clinic and Kaleida Health.

“We will also have our own tables set up,” Praino said.

These include tables for baked goods, information from the department, MyPlate, health and wellness club, portion control activities, and healthy apps & technology.

While Buffalo State has had health fairs in the past, there will be some new things at this semester’s.

“Since every year there is a different group of students planning it, many ideas and organizations are different,” Praino said. “This is the first year there will be a Pilates demo, Prevention Focus and WSYDC will be there, Rite Aid will provide flu shots, and there will hopefully be a farmer’s market table. Like prior years, we will be having several raffle baskets and baked goods.”

“Last year, therapy dogs were supposed to make an appearance but the snow made it so the fair was not able to happen,” Guadagna said. “Hopefully the dogs will be coming back and the snow will be waiting a while longer than last year to make an appearance.”

All proceeds from this year’s fair will also go to Buffalo State’s food pantry.

“Not only will this help those who really need it before the holiday season, but this will help let others know that there is even a food pantry on campus!” Praino said.

Praino and Guadagna, as well as the rest of their department, hope students will have fun at this event and learn some new things.

“Maybe something at the fair will light a spark in someone to get them to want to better their health or help a friend who they know is in need,” Praino said, “We also hope students will realize that staying healthy is easy and there is a variety of ways to maintain yourself through the foods you eat, to the activities you do, and the best ways to take preventative measures.”

Praino adds, “I believe it is important for students to go, to learn that being ‘healthy’ isn’t just going to the doctors and being told you’re okay. Your health is taking care of yourself physically through diet and physical activities, but also keeping your mind healthy and learning what works best for each individual. We are all different and students should know ways of staying healthy aren’t just black and white, there’s something for everyone.”

“There will be so much useful information that will not only apply to college life, but life after college,” Guadagna said. “We will have so many campus resources and student support at tables. I also feel that there is a lot of misinformation and confusion about general health out there. It will really help the students decipher what is myth and what is truth! Also – who doesn’t like free activities?”