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Whitworth students raise awareness on eating disorders through upcoming events

March 4, 2013

Whitworth students are taking the initiative to bring awareness to the reality and dangers of eating disorders. National Eating Disorder Awareness (NEDA) Week will take place March 3-8. Three events will be conducted by students who are passionate about this topic.

Eating disorders can be life-threatening illnesses, and it is important to point out the pressures and behaviors that foster and shape these disorders. The organizers of NEDA Week hope to help students gain perspective and understanding about how people with eating disorders see themselves. The week is also about sufferers coming forward, admitting to and treating a range of eating disorders.

This year’s NEDA Week theme is “Everybody Knows Somebody.” Through a series of events aimed at raising awareness of eating disorders, this student-led effort hopes also to prevent eating disorders and body-image issues while cutting through the stigma surrounding these disorders. The events for NEDA Week at Whitworth are as follows:

Monday, March 4
6:30 p.m., Mind & Hearth Coffeehouse
Students will share their personal stories, poetry, songs and art to express their experiences with eating disorders.

Wednesday, March 6
“Hope for Eating Disorders”
8 p.m., Hixson Union Building Multipurpose Room
Courtney Simpson, a senior and psychology major at Whitworth, will share testimonies on eating disorders and will also share valuable information that she, as a psychology student, has gained from them.

Thursday, March 7
“How to Help a Friend”
8 p.m., Hixson Union Building Multipurpose Room
A panel consisting of students, faculty and parents who have known or worked with people suffering from anorexia, bulimia, etc., will discuss the symptoms and effects of these disorders.

Bianca Rodriguez, a Whitworth senior and former Duvall Hall health advocate, has been involved in coordinating the eating-disorders awareness effort at Whitworth. “I believe that all people should be able to love themselves,” she says.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.