Volunteer Experience in Student Health Advisory Committee

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The University of North Texas Student Advisory Committee (SHAC) was the community partner I volunteered with for this service project. SHAC is one of the many student organization at UNT, but it is also the only student-run health programming board on UNT’s campus which is located in Chestnut Hall. SHAC has many purposes and missions, but their main mission is to “act as a liaison between Health Services administrators and the UNT student body.” SHAC promotes the health needs of students and educates students on resources offered at the UNT Student Health and Wellness Center. SHAC promotes healthy decision-making campaigns and programs all throughout campus. Along with that, they also recommend policies and related issues from students in order put on activities during the school year to which would better the student population. The issues SHAC focuses on are women’s health, body positivity, mental health, and fitness in order to educate students on a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

SHAC did not require an interview for volunteering and had no means of contacting them about possible opportunities available for volunteering except through email. This is because this was their annual Fashion Show, so they made this volunteering opportunity available to anyone who was willing and available to volunteer for them. They created a flyer about this volunteer opportunity and posted it on their social media pages, but the way I came across this opportunity was through the Emerald Eagle Scholars monthly newsletter that was sent to all Emerald Eagle Scholar students. SHAC did not require any skills needed for general volunteers except for musicians, photographers, and designers. Informing SHAC that I wanted to volunteer was a process whereby I had to fill out a google forms questioner with my name, email, and the volunteer position of my interest. Coming in to volunteer for SHAC, I wanted to learn more about the internal workings of the fashion industry and what it really took to put on a fashion show.

After all that process, everyone who wanted to volunteer was notified through email about meeting dates and times. The meetings for this Fashion Show were every Monday either at 7pm or 8pm all the way to 10pm starting on September 10th through October 29th. During those meeting, we were separated into different groups like media team, general volunteers, designers, stylist, models, and the promotional team. As a general volunteer, my duties included cutting papers either for or making origamis’ or writing inspirational notes. My job as a volunteer also involved promoting the Fashion Show which included posting the flyers that were created by the media team on all my social media sites.

As a general volunteer, I also had to sell tickets for the organization, but I did not have that opportunity to do so. On the day of the Fashion Show which was November 1st, my duties included walking the models either to the restroom, to their dorm, or to any location outside the designated set up area. Along with that, I had to make other make extra gift bags which included making more origami, inspirational notes, and putting them in the bags along with candies and all sorts of gift cards. Before the show started, I placed bracelets on the wrist of people who were purchasing tickets at the door and after the show was over, I had to pick up extra gift bags that were left over and trash that was made on the floor.

My experience from volunteering at the Fashion Show connects back with what we learned in class about “Psychological Disorders.” This Fashion Show’s main theme was body positivity or how to build a positive body image which is why I think it closely related to psychological disorders because many people go through series of mild or severe conditions like depression, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders over their body image. The body image of someone in this generation is place a high pedestal and society has set some unattainable goals of how a person’s body should look like.

This stigma comes from TV and other social media sites where someone can easily compare their body image to others in the media world. With SHAC being all about living a healthy and balanced lifestyle, the theme of body positivity promotes and embraces one’s body image and shape as it is. The show did not require models who had certain body shapes, but had a collective of different body shape to demonstrate what they were all about. This is why the topic of “Psychological Disorder” discussed in class connects with my experience of how the body image of someone can cause them to be affected with anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.

My experience with volunteering for SHAC reinforced stereotypes and my thoughts about the perspective of society on the views of body shapes. Although I was not a model in the show, just being able to help out as a volunteer really enhanced my understanding that the body shape of someone does not matter and to look beyond the physical appearance. Stereotyping someone based on their physical appearance before getting to know their personality is wrong and SHAC did an amazing job on sharing that through their Enchanted Night Fashion Show and bringing about an awareness of body positivity and embracing one’s body shape.

This service project experience has affected my personal and professional goals on how to bring more awareness on how the world stigmatizes the physical appearance of people. The body positivity of many people is a struggle in our recent generation, so bringing more awareness to societies and promoting a stop against discriminating people of all shapes and sizes will benefit and bring confidence in those who suffer from mental conditions because of their body image. The way I plan on promoting a positive body image in my personal and professional life is through openly expressing my views and not criticizing anyone in my head before really getting to the personality of that person. Raising awareness about body positivity is an amazing and it should be embraced by all.

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Volunteer Experience in Student Health Advisory Committee. (2021, Sep 20). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/volunteer-experience-in-student-health-advisory-committee/

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