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by JC Sosa-Soto ’21
This year has created scenarios no one could have expected and has resulted in Dickinson students, staff and faculty having to adapt to new environments and practices. Students have had to rediscover themselves as students and as individuals and learn new ways to succeed. College is difficult enough, but the circumstances have made it even more challenging, and some students find it difficult to adjust to the new methods of learning and engaging with the campus community.
Sigma Lambda Beta is a historically Latino fraternity on campus, and its members understand the pressure and difficulty generated by the pandemic. As a fraternity, the Betas pride themselves on their focus on mental health and wellness, prioritizing safe spaces and health practices for each individual brother.
Franklin Saeteros ‘22 (biochemistry & molecular biology, neuroscience) had taken a dance class called The Thinking Body: Human Movement and Anatomy with Visiting Instructor in Dance Erin Crawley-Woods.
“While this course taught me the fundamentals of human anatomy, this course also taught me a lot about myself,” he said. “From learning how to read my body, conducting daily breathing exercises, weekly mediation activities and weekly body maps to visualization techniques, I become more in tune with myself.”
Although this class was taught to Franklin in person, he recognized the power of the techniques and practices he learned and wanted to share the experience with others.
“Really, when we came up with this event, we thought, ‘what would be the most helpful to people right now?’ and this is the idea that came to mind,” said Clark.
Together, they worked with Crawley-Woods and Staff Psychologist Megan Nesbitt to bring their vision to life. The event, which was held on Oct. 29, incorporated a blend of breath work to focus the mind and calm the sympathetic response, with some gentle stretching and yoga movement to ease tension and a guided imagery exercise to take the participants into a deep relaxation.
“I think giving ourselves time and space for this kind of self-care is always important, and it feels particularly crucial now. We are seeking connection with others, so doing that in a group setting can be especially meaningful,” said Crawley-Woods.
As a member of the Wellness Center staff on campus, Nesbitt wanted to ensure that the college's values were represented during our remote semester.
“We as an organization care a great deal about mental health and maintaining mental health through safe, healthy practices. This event is a perfect representation and extension of that aspect of our organization,” said Nesbitt.
Published November 11, 2020