Eta Sigma Gamma works to promote health, well-being

Eastern Michigan University’s Beta Delta chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma, the national professional health education organization, promotes the health and well-being of the EMU community with fun, health-related activities.

The organization is open to graduate and undergrad students studying health and health science. A 2.70 GPA or better is also required to join the chapter.

“Our organization believes in science, education and research, which enables our members to promote our ideals by participating in campus events that will promote the overall health of our community,” said graduate student and president of Beta Delta Stephanie Salsbery.

Eta Sigma Gamma was founded at Ball State University on August 14, 1967 in Muncie, Indiana by Warren E. Schaller, William Bock and Robert J. Synovitz. There are more than 120 chapters today.

The initiation of new members allowed the organization to add more activities. Beta Delta partners with five events, the largest being the American Heart association’s “Heart Walk,” which will be held on May 9. The walk helps raise money to help cure heart disease.

“It’s a fun way to promote physical activities and ways to promote overall health,” Salsbery said. “It is superhero themed. The whole Student Center is covered with people, dogs, cats – it’s family friendly. It’s great that we can integrate health education into games and physical activities. It gives members the opportunity for a real life application of their skills. It gives us the opportunity to work collaboratively with different disciplines.”

This school year, Beta Delta received a grant that secured funding for the tobacco cessation program. The program is a workshop led by students. It supports smokers in the transition to the smoke-free policy starting July 1.

In November, Beta Delta held the American Cancer Society’s annual “Great American Smoke Out” to encourage people to stop smoking. Participants either made plans in advance to quit smoking or used that day to make a plan. Beta Delta collaborated with the Health and Wellness Center and the Office for Health Promotion for the event.

The organization also partnered with the annual “Hustle Your Heart Out” organized by the Center of Multicultural Affairs. Students learned the hustle from professional dancers and also participated in games and received prizes. Started in 2012, it is held every year to raise money and awareness for the American Heart Association’s “National Heart Month.”

On Thursday, Beta Delta partnered with the Office of Nutritional Services for the annual “5K Fun Run.” Participants ran around campus and ended at Roosevelt Hall. Participants were split into three groups: students, staff and community. Each person received a T-shirt for attending and prizes from Ypsilanti Running Co., Peninsular place, Beezy’s and Aubrey’s Depot town.

“I got involved because last semester after a class project which involved researching a health education organization,” Salsbery said. “What’s unique about Eta Sigma Gamma is that they have all of these college chapters and Eastern’s had been active in the past. I saw a great opportunity with my cohort of health education students to re-activate the chapter so that we could coordinate events with other groups and make an impact on our community. It’s a really good way to meet new people. I really enjoy being a part of our campus community.”

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