Group Spotlight: Peers on Wellness offers students outlet to discuss interpersonal issues


Sydney Toy, Community Editor

With there being a myriad of issues college students face every day, it is important they keep up on their mental health and wellness. Luckily for Marywood students, Peers on Wellness (POW) offers them an outlet to discuss any interpersonal issues they might face.

POW coincides with the Counseling and Student Development Center, focusing on topics such as stress management, alcohol awareness, sexual assault awareness, body peace and healthy relationships.

POW’s officers consist of President Brianna Rivera, Vice President Mia Kissinger, Treasurer Emily Culligan, Secretary Laura McKaig, Fundraising Officer Tyana Ruiz, Recruitment Chairs Tyshawn Thompson and Sam Glosser and Marketing Officer Kate Vala. POW is co-advised by Associate Director of the Counseling and Student Development Center Brandice Riccardi and Graduate Psy. D Student Sydney Palmer.

POW offers events on campus such as stress busters that take place during Halloween and Valentine’s Day offering food, stress management tips and different objects such as stress balls, It’s On Us week, which focuses on sexual assault and healthy relationships and Perfectly Imperfect week, which is a week dedicated to body positivity.

“We supplement the [Counseling and Student Development Center] with events that ease stress, promote awareness, and make student life easier,” said Kissinger.

Rivera said her favorite events are the stress busters that take place throughout each semester.

“I love to see people having fun and enjoying the events we do and not thinking about the stressful things going on in their lives,” said Rivera.

Kissinger said she enjoys the EmPOWerment Zumba class that takes place during Perfectly Imperfect week. This is a traditional zumba class but with a central focus on body positivity and body empowerment.

“It’s fun to sweat and to do something that is both fun and good for your body is important to us [POW],” said Kissinger.

According to Kissinger, POW also takes part in service events away from campus. Some of these events include programs that educate teen moms looking to go back to school and events that educate those who have been out of school for a while about stress management, healthy relationships and time management.

While POW operates in tandem with the Counseling and Student Development Center, Kissinger stressed that the club itself, nor its members, offer any sort of official therapeutic resources for students.

“We do not promote mental health services because none of us are qualified to do that,” said Kissinger. “But, we do acknowledge mental health issues and use messages that identify the important things you need to tackle and how that applies in your own life in order to make things less stressful.”

Rivera said she was drawn to POW when she attended their Random Acts of Kindness event that took place on campus. During the event, sticky notes are placed at different locations around campus with inspirational and motivating quotes, messages and compliments on them.

“I saw the Random Acts of Kindness and I wanted to be a part of something so small, yet so impactful,” said Rivera.

For Kissinger, POW is about making new friends and finding a community of people.

“I joined because of [Brianna Rivera]. I would not be friends with her, and I would not have stayed in POW if it wasn’t for her,” said Kissinger. “This is why this organization is important. It’s not just a place or events you go to, but it connects you with people who are important.”

Kissinger added that POW can be a place to find and create a community where each member has the same values or particular thing they care about.

“We all want to be happier and find a happy place. We also want to create a stronger community with one smaller community focused on making a difference,” said Kissinger.

To decipher POW’s message and what makes it so important to her, Rivera said she looks towards the name of the organization itself.

“We offer tips to live well and we’re Peers on Wellness. We work together to make campus a happier place,” said Rivera.

POW meetings are held bi-weekly on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. in room 1061 of the McGowan Center for Graduate and Professional Studies.

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