Counselor Gladys Smith spoke about the cause of eating disorders to about 30 Webster student…
Sorority raises awareness about eating disorders
The Webster sorority hosted an entire week dedicated to fundraising for the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.
“It’s really important for us to have days like this where we can celebrate that we do have differences but we can come together for a common goal,” Nickol Wahby said. “For us, we are really body positive and we want people to know that if they are having an eating disorder or something is going on in their life that they do have the sisterhood behind them.”
Equipped with paint tubes, brushes and an abundance of rocks, Webster University’s Delta Phi Epsilon Chapter promoted kindness and positivity at Webster University with its “Kindness Rocks” event.
“I was looking through the stuff that you could do that was completely positive that could spread awareness but was also kind of fun,” philanthropy coordinator for Delta Phi Epsilon, Addie Blanner said. “I saw people were painting rocks just for fun and I thought it would be cool to put positive affirmations on them. You could put them around the school or keep them for yourself, just for positive mental health for everybody.”
The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) is the philanthropic organization that the sorority works with. The nonprofit hopes to bring awareness to mental health and eating disorders.
Along with raising awareness for ANAD, hosting events like Kindness Rocks establishes a Delta Phi Epsilon presence on campus and brings its members closer.
“We want people to see us around and recognize us as an on-campus organization,” Delta Phi Epsilon member Emma Kramer said. “Also, [events] help strengthen our sisterhood. Spending time with each other at the events and also taking the time to help plan is so crucial to keeping us connected. Supporting one another builds these close relationships that might get lost if we didn’t work with each other.”
In spreading awareness for the event, Deanna Pahlmann, vice president of programming for the organization, said Delta Phi Epsilon was met with excitement and positivity from the community.
“We were in the [East Academic Building] and also [the University Center], and we had flyers for the event and everyone who noticed seemed really excited about coming and wanted to know what it was about,” Pahlmann said.
The week ended with another event by the sorority. Following the theme, the members hosted a women empowerment event. Students, family and Girl Scouts filled a room in EAB on Feb. 29. Attendees were able to color, play an empowerment themed trivia and socialize while snacking. The event continued to raise money and awareness for ANAD, while also bringing women together to celebrate each other.
Sophomore Claire Martin, who worked with sophomore Grace Gilliam to plan and organize the event, came up with the idea of holding a women empowerment day at the end of ANAD week.
Originally, the event was meant to be a family day, but Martin explained that she decided to make the event more focused on empowerment.
“Our main goal with that is to uplift women and just people in general and make them feel good about their bodies,” Martin said
For the trivia game, attendees could purchase $2 mulligans, which could be used on one question of a team’s choosing. The proceeds from the mulligans, along with proceeds from the Girl Scout cookies, were donated to ANAD, according to Nickol Wahby, a member of the sorority.
Along with selling mulligans, Martin also noted that Delta Phi Epsilon was selling T-shirts to raise money and the group accepted donations as well.
The trivia game consisted of four rounds, with five questions in each. Categories highlighted famous women, accomplishments of women, and some of the obstacles women have recently faced — or continue to face.
“We thought with our trivia, we could point out some historic women who did great things for us and some challenges that we are just now overcoming obstacles. Just so people realize we still have a long way to go for equality,” Wahby said.
One question of the trivia game asked when the first woman was allowed to participate in ski jumping at the Winter Olympics. The answer? Not until 2014. Other questions celebrated notable women such as Holocaust victim Anne Frank and scientist Marie Curie.
Along with celebrating women of the past, event organizers also hoped the event would allow women to celebrate each other. Wahby noted that Delta Phi Epsilon accepted all women, regardless of looks or viewpoints. The only requirements, according to Wahby, are “justice, sisterhood and love.” Because of this, Wahby said Delta Phi Epsilon has a diverse group of women. She added that such an event allowed members of the sorority to celebrate their differences.
“It’s really important for us to have days like this where we can celebrate that we do have differences but we can come together for a common goal,” Wahby said. “For us, we are really body positive and we want people to know that if they are having an eating disorder or something is going on in their life that they do have the sisterhood behind them.”
Sorority members were encouraged to invite two people outside of the sorority. Wahby also encouraged people in the hallway to check out the event. Martin said that the events of the week were important in spreading awareness of ANAD.
“We don’t really talk about eating disorders or body image issues openly so I think these events this week have helped bring more attention to the fact that people go through that every day,” Martin said.
If you’re interested in donating, you can do that here.