By KAYLA CABRAL
They’re making students aware, one booth at a time.
On Feb. 16, the Welland campus hosted a health fair for local businesses and agencies to enlighten students on health issues and encourage them to be aware.
The health fair ran from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside the cafeteria and through the halls near the bookstore. The fair moved to the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus on Feb. 17, outside the cafeteria. There was a variety of booths for students to check out and participate in.
Ashley White, waste management assistant for the city of Welland, had a booth making students aware of the coming changes in waste management. She says, as of Feb. 28 only one bag of garbage per home will be allowed every week, grey box, blue box and green bins pick up will be every week and grass clippings will no longer be collected. Previously, a two-bag maximum and alternative recycle week pick-up occurred.
She was also encouraging students to recycle offering recycling bins for sale at her booth.
Michele Longhurst, public education co-ordinator of the Canadian Mental Health Association, had information on mental health issues, handing students stress test stickers, which changed colours depending on your stress level. She says of all the pamphlets she hands out, excessive compulsive disorder is the most commonly chosen among students.
Craig Rudling, of the Niagara Regional Police Community Services unit, had a table full of fun facts. There was a static drug display listing the common illegal drugs found in communities and the long-term effects it can have on your body. His example on display included the long-term use of ecstasy and how it can eventually turn into Parkinson’s disease, which is incurable.
Zining Xu, in Early Childhood Education, says the fair is "a good idea" and enjoyed walking around the different booths.
The RecycleMe group from the Provincial Agency of Organ and Tissue Donation set up a life-sized Operation game for students to play. The winner at the end of the day received an 8-GB iPod touch.
Carrie Hoto, communications adviser, says the booth was set up to encourage people to "register consent to donate organs." Joanne Scherker, a member of the group, says over 1,500 critically ill people are waiting for organs.
"Give the gift of life" is the motto of the organization, says Scherker.
The group handed out heart-shaped stress balls, RecycleMe T-shirts and forms for people wanting to donate organs. There was also an organ donor and organ recipient at the booth for students to talk to about their experience with organ donation.
Colette Bodogh and her daughter Tamaira say the fair "had good things to look around [at]" and it was very "interesting." Tamaira is applying to the college for September.
Jennifer O’Brien, a fifth-year Community Health Science student at Brock University, ran the Leave the Pack Behind (LTPB) booth, offering information on smoking and strategies for quitting the habit. She was offering a carbon monoxide Breathalyzer test for students who might have been exposed to that substance, along with pamphlets, candy and LTPB freebies.
LTPB members canvas each campus giving students information and offering help when needed.
Chelsea Cheevers, a Notre Dame high school student taking a dual credit course at Niagara College, says the fair "is pretty cool" and "has a lot of stuff going on." She says she took the carbon monoxide test and her results were of a light smoker.
Margaret Vegter, "What’s your type?" volunteer, was offering blood-typing tests for students who didn’t know.
She encourages students to donate blood, saying, "a lot of people who can donate, don’t donate." She says only five per cent of people who can, actually do.
The Student Administrative Council (SAC) had its booth set up for students to see what SAC has planned in the next few months.
Katryna Mckenna, director of student and community relations, promoted a masquerade ball happening on Feb. 24 at The Core. Admission is $10 and includes a pasta dinner and dance.