By Kristy Koehler, October 10 2019—
Faculty of Arts representative Rayane Issa is making good on her platform promises to offer monthly wellness nights for students.
Issa hosted a workshop in September in collaboration with fellow Arts rep Justin Gotta and the Student Success Centre, targeted toward first-year students building good study habits and setting themselves up for success.
The next event, a glow-in-the-dark yoga class dubbed Glow with the Flow, is scheduled for Oct. 16.
“Glow-in-the-dark Yoga is just one of the many events to come,” said Issa. “It’s low-commitment stress-relief. It will be an hour of yoga, followed by socializing and refreshments.”
Previously an annual event for the Faculty of Arts Students’ Association, Issa has teamed up with the organization to offer the class as part of a collaboration.
“I’ll be working closely with FASA to co-plan these events,” she said. “I’m a big believer in teamwork. I’m an arts rep, they’re the Faculty of Arts Students’ Association. We are here to serve arts students. Why would we have different events when we can host one big event for the betterment of all arts students?”
Issa has an entire year’s worth of events already planned, though final dates will be released in the coming weeks. November’s event will be a panel discussion about how to deal with stress, December will feature a “Cards of Gratitude” event where students can make and mail cards to the folks they are thankful for, and January has a planned journaling event to act on those “new year, new me” vibes.
Issa thinks these events are incredibly important for student well-being.
“As students, we’re extremely busy,” she said. “We always say we want to take care of ourselves, but it’s hard. If you have it in your calendar — even an hour a month so you have to do it — even if it’s just committing to relaxation, it’s very important. Mental health is something that has been talked about a lot on campus but there hasn’t been a lot of action. It’s what I ran on and I’m here to act on what I promised.”
There is a planned event in the winter semester to bring clubs together that primarily focus on student mental health.
“There are more than 15 clubs that talk about mental health and mental health initiatives,” said Issa. “We’re hoping to bring them all together so students know what kind of resources they have and can join in on whatever they are passionate about.”
Success of the events, for Issa, will be measured by how helpful they were to students.
“When we talk about success, whether it’s reaching out to one student or many students, even if I can help one student with their mental health, it’s so much better than having them struggle all year,” she said. “We want to capture students early on this year so they can come with us to all the events throughout the year. Anything that helps a student is a success for me.”
Glow with the Flow takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 16 from 3–5 p.m. Students are encouraged to wear white to maximize the blacklight effect. Attendees will meet in the Arts Lounge.