University prescribes fair for students’ health
Students can learn about chiseling their summer bods, prepping nutritious meals or tackling serious health conditions at the Health and Wellness Fair 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-7 p.m. March 7 in the Central Academic Building’s lobby.
Jarrick Brown, student activities coordinator, said Texas A&M University-San Antonio hosts the fair to educate and support students as enrollment increases.
“It’s important to offer as we continue to grow, and we do not really have a health center on campus just yet,” Brown said.
Resources at the fair include nutrition, fitness, vision screenings and financial wellness. Participants include Alcoholics Anonymous, Prevent Blindness, UT Health San Antonio and Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union.
An apple a day …
By Priscilla Plaza and Aldo J. Cortés
Daniel Sigala, construction science junior, said he lacks energy throughout the day because he eats junk food and does not get enough sleep.
“I wake up 10 minutes before I have to leave, don’t eat breakfast, go to school, go to work, get home and stay up till about 3 a.m. doing homework,” Sigala said.
Vendors will help such students improve their eating habits and learn about supplements.
Kevin Iski, nutrition coach for Natural Grocers in San Antonio, will give advice on maintaining an affordable and nutritious diet.
“We will be bringing a nutrition wheel … and show students at A&M [San Antonio] what a healthy meal should look,” Iski said.
Nutritional coaching typically costs approximately $100, Iski said.
“This service would be free,” Iski said. “Students will learn alternatives like eating eggs, which are cheap, healthy and packed with protein, instead of eating ramen and stuff.”
Natural Grocers has two stores in San Antonio; the nearest is in Alamo Heights, approximately 16-20 miles from A&M-San Antonio.
“I would love to see us expand westward and southern, but that’s up to the heads,” Iski said.
Kaiser Medical Management, which has organized the fair at A&M-San Antonio for the last five years, will sell vitamin shots such as B12, B-complex, Vitamin C and glutathione, said KMM owner Lenore Gregson.
Gregson said she realizes most college students are on a budget. Shots range from $20 to $50 at full price, but students can purchase the shots at a 50 percent discount.
KMM has provided corporate wellness services for more than 10 years.
“We have found students to be respectful and engaging when we have provided a health fair, not only to Texas A&M, but many other colleges in SA,” Gregson said.
Zane T. Rushing contributed to this story.
Helping survivors prompts wellness for victims, volunteers
By Brigid Cooley
Students can learn about joining a group of civilian volunteers who work with the San Antonio Police Department to assist victims of domestic violence.
Though volunteers are usually required to be at least 21 years old, university students can volunteer at a younger age.
Ivie Tovar, volunteer coordinator for the Family Assistance Crisis Team, said domestic abuse is insidious.
“It’s something that’s gradual, becoming a victim of domestic violence,” Tovar said. “When you go out with someone, they don’t tell you they’re an abuser or beat you up on the first date. Victims deal with a lot of shame.”
The team helps victims access resources to help ensure their safety. Volunteers are effective as civilians who don’t wear badges, Tovar said.
“Sometimes the community member would rather speak to a civilian … someone who’s not in the PD … someone who’s just like them,” Tovar said.
Tovar trains volunteers to know how to react in a crisis. She said volunteers also should have a judgment-free attitude.
Volunteers go through a training process that includes criminal background checks and volunteering in an SAPD substation. After six months, they can become “ride advocates” who accompany police officers during crisis calls.
“Our main purpose is to keep them [victims of domestic violence] safe and to make sure that they know someone cares,” Tovar said.
Fitness classes build strength, friendships
By Gloria Carmona
Camp Gladiator will encourage students, staff and faculty to sign up as members of the group workout program.
“We want to share our mission to positively impact lives through fitness,” said Madeleine Ebeling, Camp Gladiator regional director.
Members can join an outdoor four-week progressive program tailored to all fitness levels. The weather is never consistent in Texas, but Ebeling said the workouts are. They take place rain or shine. When the weather is below 40 degrees, alternate locations can be found on the Camp Gladiator app.
“Camp Gladiator understands that students’ schedules fluctuate, and this program provides the flexibility they need to get a jump start on their fitness journey,” Ebeling said.
Workouts are as early as 4:45 a.m. and as late as 7:30 p.m. Members can work out at any location, any time. There are three locations at Brooks City Base and more than 300 locations throughout San Antonio. If members are traveling, the app can locate workout sites nationwide.
Memberships range from $65 to $189 per month; the program also offers 10 to 20 percent corporate and military discounts. Its headquarters is working to offer a student discount in the future.
Ebeling said people come for the workout, but stay for the networks they build.
“One thing I personally love about Camp Gladiator is the community feel,” Ebeling said. “When you go out there, you are going to see people from all walks of life and all fitness levels, and yet we are all bonded together in pursuing a healthier lifestyle.”
Healthy students need healthy smiles
By Luis Corral
Many people tend to ignore their oral health, especially young adults busy with work or school.
Cheryl Cornelius, marketing and PR director at Nautical Dental, explains the importance of seeing a dentist and taking care of one’s teeth and gums.
To prevent gum disease, cavities and other oral problems, people should simply brush their teeth and floss twice a day; having a dental checkup every six months ensures they are doing those things correctly.
Cornelius said if people skip dental appointments for a long time, they can end up with gum disease.
Nautical Dental, at 17147 Autry Pond, No. 105, has participated for at least two years in the fair.
Cornelius said some people don’t have time to visit the dentist; others have a strong fear of going. Cornelius has seen people both young and old who avoid the dentist and suffer from gum disease and cavities as a result.
Pets need wellness, too
By Jose de la Rosa
The Spay-Neuter Assistance Program, or SNAP, will provide information on caring for pets.
“We offer free or low-cost spay and neuter services, as well as wellness services to animals in our community to make sure they stay healthy,” said Marcy Lynch, SNAP board member and volunteer.
According to its website, SNAP was founded in 1994 to “reduce the number of animals that die needlessly.”
“It is very important for people in our community to spay and neuter their pets,” Lynch said. “It’s for the good of our community and the health of the animals in it.”
Spaying also protects pets from disease.
“Your females can get pyometra, which is an infection of the uterus, and it’s life-threatening,” Lynch said.
Lynch will hand out literature about SNAP and its initiatives at the fair.
“The Health & Wellness Fair is a wonderful opportunity to spread the word about our services and answer questions students and staff might have,” Lynch said.
“Better to do it [spay and neuter] while they’re healthy,” Lynch said. “Then they’ll have a long, happy life with you.”
Vendors support rape survivors, provide counseling
By Daniel Gallegos and Zane T. Rushing
In 2018, The Rape Crisis Center took over 15,000 calls on their hotline, according to www.rapecrisis.com.
The fair will include a representative from RCC and a counselor from a center that provides Christian-based counseling.
Kimberly Berry is an Education Coordinator at RCC . Berry said her reason for attending the Health and Wellness Fair is to get at least one message across.
“We want people to know we’re here,” Berry said.
RCC provides multiple resources to everyone such as a free hotline and free counseling and prevention education. Any type of resource really gives survivors a voice and ways to get help, she said.
“As long as I was there to give them that brochure, I know I made a difference,” Berry said.
A total of 11.2 percent of college students have experienced rape or sexual assault, according to https://www.rainn.org/statistics/campus-sexual-violence.
“The fact is that it happens on college campuses and we need to be able to talk about that,” Berry said.
For more information, stop by their table on March 7 in the CAB lobby, visit their website at www.rapecrisis.com or call their hotline at 210-349-7273.
Northside Family Counseling Center offers faith-based stress management therapy, marriage counseling and intensive programs to treat addiction or anxiety, according to its website.
Christina Brooks, a counselor who will represent NFCC at the fair, said in a March 1 phone interview that the center has seven full-time therapists and four licensed interns. She said all of them come from a Christian background.
NFCC accepts health insurance from most providers. According to the website, participants will be asked to fill out a form consenting to Christian faith-based therapy from counselors who have a Christian background and consider the Bible the inerrant word of God. It states: “I have read NFCC’s Statement of Faith. I understand that my counselor will practice from a Christian Worldview with Christian morals and principles. I agree to this type of counseling.”
Brooks said therapists do not discriminate against anyone for any reason, and religion will not be discussed “if that isn’t who you are.”
In a 2017 study, the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors found that as few as 2 percent of college students use on-campus counseling services, but more than 48 percent report having a feeling of anxiety.
Students at A&M-San Antonio also can access free counseling services at the Student Counseling and Wellness Center in Modular C-166 on campus. It is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, offering individual counseling and group therapy sessions. For more information, call 210-784-1331 or visit http://www.tamusa.edu/studentengagementsuccess/studentcounseling/index.html.
Amparo Polendo contributed to this story package.