Category Archives: Student Wellness Network

Racing Towards Awareness

According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey, every two minutes someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. Because of these alarming results, the month of April has been designated Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, 82 BGSU students lined up at the starting line for the second annual Sexual Assault Awareness 5K. The event was put on by The Department of Recreation and Wellness to raise money to increase the awareness of sexual assault and educate the community on how to prevent it.

Director of the Wellness Connection Faith Yingling emphasized the importance of sexual assault awareness, “On average, one in four women are the victim of attempted or completed sexual assault by the time they graduate,” she said. “It is crucial that we pool together and do something about this issue.”

All of the proceeds made from this event were given to the Cocoon Shelter. The Cocoon Shelter opened its doors to battered women and children on June 14th, 2005. Since then it has been a safe emergency home to the overwhelming amount of women and children in the area that are in need of help.

The event gave participants the option to run or walk during the 5K. There was no pressure as to who would get across the finish line first, but rather an emphasis that everyone who crossed the finish line contributed to a good cause. A lot of students found this as an opportunity to get a good work out in while making a difference.

“College women are a huge target for sexual assault, and because I fit into that category I thought it was more than necessary to come out and run to increase awareness,” said participant Sarah Nitkiewicz.

The Department of Recreation and Wellness strives on making the Bowling Green community a safe and healthy place to live. “We really appreciate all of those who participated in this year’s 5K, and encourage more students to come out next year,” Yingling said. “We are already looking forward to next year’s race!”

BIG Playground has BIG Turn Out.

The streets of Bowling Green were a little less populated this past Friday night as many students flocked to the recreation center for a healthier source of entertainment.


The Department of Recreation and Wellness hosted their 12th annual BIG Playground event Friday evening. The event is designed to prove to students that there are fun ways to spend weekend nights other than indulging in irresponsible behavior. Students received a free water bottle and extra goodies when signing a pledge to be responsible on spring break. The Department of Recreation and Wellness works hard every year to encourage student health and safety.



Despite the hazardous weather, students trudged through snow and slush to enjoy a series of activities including 3 on 3 basketball tournaments, an inflatable obstacle course, inflatable jousting and face painting. Many students took advantage of the free food and beverages that was offered as well.




Sophomore Audrey Backes decided to return after participating in the event last year. “This is a really good time of the year to hold an event like this. For me, this weather really puts a damper on weekends, and BIG Playground is a great way to have some indoor fun,” she said.


Freshman Taylor Tucker mentioned how she had been looking forward to BIG Playground to meet new people. “As a freshman you are always looking for ways to make new friends, BIG Playground allows you to let loose and do things you don’t normally do as a college student.” “I would definitely come back again,” she said.


Every year BIG Playground provides students with a great way to set responsibility aside while still being responsible. BIG Playground is proof that students can have a great time without making bad decisions.

I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, I’m a BGSU Kid.

Now, more than ever the pressure to become an adult at a younger age can really take a toll on students. The transition from painting toenails and playing video games to cramming for tests and working extra hours to make rent can be a tough one for college students. Imagine setting all adulthood worries aside and acting like a kid again. Now is your chance.

Last year’s Big Playground Event

The Department of Recreation and Wellness is hosting the 12th annual BIG Playground event. The event will be held on Friday, February 26th at the Student Recreation Center from 10:00 PM to 1:00 AM.

BIG Playground is a late night alternative event. The event’s purpose is to show students there are healthy alternatives to a good time rather than drinking and partying. Activities include an inflatable obstacle course and jousting, two caricatures, a giant slide, 3 on 3 basketball tournament, a live DJ, sex olympics, disabled vision goggles, prizes and food.

Health Educator, Caitlin Spontelli explained how the event offers a fun and healthy learning environment. She said every year students respond positively to BIG Playground. “They enjoy having a night to let loose, meet new people, and release their inner child,” explained Spontelli. About 1,000 students participate each year.

BIG Playground is free to BGSU students with student ID and only $6.00 for guests. The first 100 people receive a free t-shirt. Don’t let the chance of indulging in your favorite youthful activities pass you by. Come to BIG Playground and be a kid again, guilt free! Call 419.372 WELL (9355) for more information.

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.