Events empower students

A collaboration of departments, clubs and organizations teamed up to host "Fearlessly You," the sixth annual Respect Your Body Week.

The purpose of the week is for SPU students and staff to explore and challenge the culture’s idea of food, beauty and body image through both a physical and theological perspective, SPU registered dietician Sara Rehberg said.

Respect Your Body Week started six years ago when the Student Counseling Center initiated the eating disorder program, Rehberg said. The week’s events are designed to empower the SPU campus to recognize disorderly thoughts or actions in themselves or in others, Rehberg said.

The clubs, which include S.A.L.S.A., Sophia, Fashion Group and The Fight, are all hosting various events intended to encourage being true to a person’s specific body and personality.

S.A.L.S.A. is hosting the "Noche de Salsa" at the end of the week as a good way to "exercise your body, put the mind at rest and uplift the soul," Dalillah Bernal, president of S.A.L.S.A., said.

This is the first year of S.A.L.S.A.’s involvement in Respect Your Body Week, Bernal said.

Another club, Sophia, which is dedicated to promoting gender equality, will be a part of the women-only forum "Embodying Faith" on Thursday night.

The club prepared a slideshow presentation to show during the forum, Sophia’s president Beebe Sharkey said. The vision for this presentation is worshipping God by realizing that he has endowed us all with beautiful bodies and that we need to accept and respect our individual beauty, Sharkey said.

Women should "not [be] afraid of showing our bodies in an appropriate and tasteful way," she said.

Devon Poer, president of Fashion Group agrees.

"Fashion is about you, it’s dressing your specific body," she said.

Fashion Group hosted a lecture featuring image and style coach and owner of Uniquely Savvy Kim Crumpler yesterday evening.

"We wanted people to know that fashion does have to do with respecting your body and it’s not superficial like most people think," Poer said.

In addition to clubs, individual students are also involved in sponsoring and hosting events.

Christina Wagaman, a senior majoring in food and nutritional sciences with a focus in dietetics, was in charge of the "Images of Advertising" event Monday evening and "Nourishing Your Busy Body" yesterday afternoon.

Wagaman has never been involved in Respect Your Body Week before, but was interested in leading some events this year because she wanted to help people with their self-image.

A lot of time, planning and organizing went into the production of this week, Wagaman said.

The "Images of Advertising" event "helped me realize it [respecting your body] is not just about the food," Wagaman said. "It’s mental, spiritual and so many other things."

For a complete list of the week’s events and locations, visit the Respect Your Body Week website at

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Title: Events empower students | Author: Hannah Ricks | Section: News | Published Date: 2007-10-31 | Internal ID: 6083