All posts by Drew LaFollette

Finals Week Stress Management

Finals week may not begin until Monday, Dec. 14, but for many students at BGSU the stress caused by finals week is already here. The stress accompanying the conclusion of the semester troubles many students, but there are ways to alleviate that stress.

“There are positive and negative ways of dealing with stress,” said Wellness Connection Interim Health Educator Caitlin Spontelli.

According to Spontelli, some healthy strategies to deal with stress include “exercise, getting plenty of sleep, eating a well balanced diet, and managing time wisely.” She also identified some unhealthy methods of coping with stress, such as “smoking, binge drinking, and consuming too much caffeine.”

While stress can be beneficial at times, constant exposure is harmful.

“Stress isn’t always bad,” stated Spontelli. “In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best, but when you’re constantly running in emergency mode your mind and body pay the price.”

Finals week is a critical time of the semester, where final grades are often determined. Stress has a detrimental effect on academic performance.

“Stress can cause many symptoms that can affect performance such as forgetfulness, sleep problems, burnout, decreased immunity, headaches, restlessness and other symptoms that could affect a person’s performance in the classroom,” said Spontelli.

The effects of long-term stress are damaging.

“Long-term exposure to stress can lead to serious health problems,” explained Spontelli. “It can lead to ulcers, migraines, increased blood pressure, suppressed immune system, and increased risk of heart attack and stroke.”

Some of the exercises recommended by Spontelli to relieve stress are yoga and tai chi. Other methods of dealing with stress she recommends are talking to a friend or family member, listening to music, writing in a journal, and playing with a pet.

The Counseling Center is also available for students struggling with stress. Its walk-in hours are from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

Please visit the Wellness Connection Web site for more information on programs and services provided.

Wood County and RecWell Cooperate in the Community

Recreation and Wellness maintains strong connections with the Bowling Green community. One of the cooperative efforts between the department and the community is the work done with the Wood County Educational Service Center (WCESC.) Student Recreation Center (SRC) Assistant Director of Facilities Dave Hollinger and Special Education Supervisor Diane Witt from the WCESC work together to give local high school-aged students with developmental disabilities the opportunity to cultivate real-world job skills.

The work done at the SRC is part of a “living classroom” program at the WCESC. The students’ classroom is an apartment in Bowling Green from which the students take the BGSU shuttle to work.

“The mission of our ‘living classroom’ is to offer meaningful experiences to promote growth in the areas of employment, independent living, recreation and leisure, and community participation, allowing for a natural transition of skills into adult life for individuals with significant disabilities,” stated Witt.

The students’ work at the SRC is mutually beneficial.

“It’s a win-win for everybody,” explained Hollinger. “It’s great to have the opportunity to work with a diverse staff, and it’s a good opportunity for the students to learn in a real-life setting.”

Currently, there are four students from the WCESC working at the SRC. The session began in October 2009 and runs through May 2010. The duties performed by the students range from cleaning tasks, such as wiping down equipment and disinfecting areas of the building, to greeting people entering the building and sorting documents.

“We give them a staff shirt and a name tag,” noted Hollinger. “They’re part of the team.”

The positive impact the program has on the students is apparent.

“You can see a big difference between the first day and the last,” said Hollinger. “The growth is noticeable. It’s tangible, and it’s rewarding.”

BGSU Men’s Rugby Takes 3rd Straight Title, Heads to National Championships

Talent and strong work ethic are amongst the reasons BGSU men’s rugby won its third consecutive Midwest Rugby title and continues its season. Sunday, November 15, BGSU defeated Indiana University 21 – 10 in the championship game. The team advances to the Division I Collegiate Rugby National Championships in San Diego, Calif. on April 23 – 25, 2010.

After an October 31 loss to Ohio State, BGSU did not enter into this year’s Midwest tournament as the favorite. However, it was a 55 – 32 BGSU payback win in the semifinals over Ohio State that propelled the team into the championship game, where they would eventually win the title.

The October loss to Ohio State served as motivation.

“We realized we needed to work on the finer points of our game,” said BGSU men’s rugby President Justin Rutledge. “We weren’t able to complete our plays. The mental game was what we needed to work on.”

The wins over Ohio State and Indiana did not only lead BGSU to the conference title. Additionally, the team moves on to the National Championships, continuing what has already been an extremely successful season. The success the team has known has not come easy.

“We work hard at practice,” stated Rutledge. “When we find a weakness we work at it. We work together on and off the field.”

A competitive schedule and resilience have provided the team with the necessary experience and mindset going into the National Championships.

“The loss to Ohio State gave us a punch in the mouth,” said Rutledge. “It made us realize there are teams as good as us. Also, the win against Indiana showed us we can pull out a close victory.”

With the National Championships not starting until April, the team has a long break in action. Maintaining momentum could be a problem, but Rutledge sees opportunities to keep moving in a positive direction.

“I think we can keep this going by taking the winter seriously, but not too seriously,” said Rutledge. “We need to work to get better, but only concentrate on what we’re doing. We can’t be concerned about any opponents.”

For more information on BGSU men’s rugby, please visit the BGSU rugby Web site. For more information on Sport Clubs at BGSU Recreation and Wellness, please visit the Sport Clubs Web site.

BGSU Student Leadership Excellence Results in National Recognition

BGSU Recreation and Wellness is home to two recent national award recipients. The Outdoor Program is the winner of the David J. Webb Program Excellence Award from the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE.) Additionally, Student Wellness Network Vice-President Ashley Remer is the winner of the 2009 BACCHUS Network “Outstanding Student Award.”

The AORE is a national organization representing outdoor recreation programs at universities and military bases, as well as not-for-profit outdoor recreation programs.

“This is the highest award given to an outdoor recreation program,” said Director of the Outdoor Program Jerome Gabriel. “It’s the Emmy of outdoor recreation.”

Given BGSU’s location in an area not known for outdoor recreation like Northwest Ohio, it may appear surprising the Outdoor Program is the winner of this prestigious award. However, the program has a proud reputation in the outdoor recreation community.

“We were nominated for our ability to produce outstanding outdoor leaders,” stated Gabriel. “Students have gone on to be directors of outdoor programs in Colorado and Utah, graduate assistants in Georgia and New York, and work in many professional areas of outdoor recreation.”

The Outdoor Program also makes good use of the resources it has available with programs such as the adaptive climbing program, adrenaline youth climbing club, and the freshman wilderness experience.

Another important resource of the Outdoor Program is its student staff. The student employees at the program are vital contributors towards the program’s success.

“We give 100 percent recognition to our student staff,” said Gabriel. “The program wouldn’t have gone anywhere without students, who are passionate about outdoor recreation.”

The Student Wellness Network also has a strong reputation for producing leaders, a fact The BACCHUS Network recognizes.

The BACCHUS Network consists of over 32,000 student peer educators and advisors. BGSU’s Student Wellness Network is an affiliate. Student Wellness Network Vice-President Ashley Remer is the most recent winner of the “Outstanding Student Award.” Remer is the second BGSU student in as many years to win the award.

Senior Ashley Remer won “Outstanding Student of the Year” among other students due to her dedication to the Student Wellness Network.

“Ashley is a great leader and very charismatic,” stated Wellness Connection Director and Student Wellness Network Advisor Faith Yingling. “Other students look up to her as a mentor and leader. She brought the organization through a transition period after two main leaders graduated last year. Her leadership is very important. She really connects with students, and they feel comfortable with her.”

On Thursday, November 19 the Student Wellness Network has a table in the Union from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. as part of the Great American Smokeout. Visitors can find information on smoking cessation. Furthermore, Alcohol and Chemical Dependency Counselor Carrie Arndt is at the table from 12 until 2 p.m.

More information on the Student Wellness Network and the Wellness Connection can be found at their Web sites.

In early December, the Outdoor Program releases its Spring Semester trip schedule, which will include backpacking along the Appalachian trail and caving in Alabama. Please visit the Outdoor Program Web site for more information.