The Associated Students Commission on Student Wellbeing (COSWB) is committed to promoting the well-being of students at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) and ensuring students feel taken care of during this year’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, Feb. 21-27.
The Bottom Line (TBL) interviewed Julia Jennings, a third-year psychological and brain sciences major and the Mental Health Coordinator of COSWB, to learn about the commission and their National Eating Disorder Awareness Event that took place on Friday, Feb. 25 at Storke Tower.
COWSB is a UCSB Associated Students (AS) Committee composed of students who dedicate their services to helping sustain and cultivate the holistic health of the undergraduate student body — mentally, physically, and emotionally.
“We look to put on events and programs that prioritize a welcome, warm, and fun environment for everyone that also coincide with education and a cognizance towards [this] mission statement,” Jennings noted.
During their National Eating Disorder Awareness Event, COSWB tabled in front of Storke Tower and handed out flowers to those passing by. The committee encouraged people to write down non-physical aspects that they loved about themselves on sticky notes that would then adorn a large poster board display. Students could also write a compliment for another student and take one in return.
While tabling, COSWB also provided information about and resources from the National Eating Disorder Association. This year, the association’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, also known as NEDAwareness Week, took place from Feb. 21 – 27. National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAwareness Week) is an annual campaign that was created 20 years ago and states on their website that their purpose is to, “[educate] the public about the realities of eating disorders and to provide hope, support, and visibility to individuals and families affected by eating disorders.”
She hopes that the event allows people to stop for a moment and reflect on all the positive attributes they possess that are not in any way related to their body, shape, or size.
Jennings noted how she, “wanted to create an uplifting event that would encourage self-love and body acceptance, while simultaneously raising awareness and providing resources for those struggling with eating disorders or related issues during National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.”
“It’s easy to get distressed by how we feel we are ‘supposed’ to look and I think it’s important to remind ourselves that … the way we look is not the only important thing about us. We are more than our physical appearances,” Jennings told TBL. “While it’s great to feel confident in your body, this is not always possible, and I hope my event helped people remember their other amazing qualities and was able to put a smile on someone’s face.
Aside from their National Eating Disorder Awareness events, COSWB also hosts weekly Zoom yoga classes every Weds. from 5 – 6 p.m. and a quarterly rejuvenation station event in collaboration with the UCSB Health & Wellness Department on March 3 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Health & Wellness Annex. For those seeking more information, Jennings invites students to come to COSWB’s meetings every Thurs. from 7-8 p.m. at the Pardall Center, contact COWSB at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow their Instagram page at @ucsbcoswb.