Spring Cleaning!

spring cleaning

Students living can get a little dirty sometimes. Now that it is getting warmer and the semester is coming to an end, think about clearing up some of the clutter you’ve accumulated all year, and end the semester with a clean finish.

Create a Cleaning Route:
Map out areas of your apartment, house, or dorm that need cleaning and tackle it task by task rather than spending all day cleaning. Pick a section that needs some work and conquer it that day. Is your desk a mess? Haven’t changed your sheets in a while? Start there and once completed, plan for your next area to clean.

Here are some tips for each section you are trying to clean!

springclean_closet real
Store all heavier winter clothes away in plastic containers to keep out bugs and dust. Try putting them under the bed or in the basement to avoid clutter. This will help create room for summer clothes and allow you to see your options!

Consider rotating your mattress and getting your pillows cleaned. After a long winter cuddled in our beds, our sheets need some attention too. Make sure to put a fresh pair on your bed and shake out your comforter. Don’t skip over the rugs – they need a good vacuum too.

Go through old papers and notebooks and throw away scrap paper. You will be so much more productive when you can find things and see what’s on your working space. Think about donating old books or selling back old text books as well. Try separating outdated course work into folders for each class. Once done, wipe down your desktop with a Clorox wipe or warm rag and soap.

If you have access to your own bathroom, check the medicine cabinets and safely discard any outdated medicine or products.
Ladies, don’t forget to go through makeup as well. Mascaras should be thrown away after 2-3 months. With the seasons changing, rethink that old foundation from last year. Foundations should be thrown out after 6-12 months to cut down on the bacteria. Consider getting new makeup brushes or wash your old ones in warm water with a little bit of face wash. Check shower curtains for mold and give it a wash in the washer if it’s looking kind of gross. Shower curtains can be washed often – just check label for drying settings first.


Spring cleaning can often seem like a daunting, scary task, but it doesn’t have to be. Even minor chores like sweeping the floor, unloading the dishwasher, or doing laundry can be done while on the phone with your friends! Take your time to plan it out and reference the tips to get it done.

Written by Erica Vasquez, Peer Educator

Get Out and Be Active!

Spring is here, so it is time to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors!

What are the benefits of outdoor physical activity?

Physical activity is great no matter where you get it, but being active outside gives your body some additional benefits. Being out in the fresh air helps purify your blood and gets it pumping. Also, being in the sun helps your body to produce vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential because it helps regulate your blood pressure and reduces stress. Just make sure you apply sunscreen before being out in the sun for long periods of time.

What can you do to be active outside around campus?

Some of the many things you can do to be active are:
• Play some sports with your friends
• Go for a hike
• Take a walk around campus
• Go for a bike ride
• Visit a one of the parks around West Chester
• Go for a walk/run through town
• Play Volleyball at the court by the Rec Center

Where are some places I can be active around West Chester?

There are many places you can go to be active outdoors around campus. Some of them are:
• The trails through the Gordon Natural Area located on South Campus by all of the fields
• The outdoor basketball courts and fields on campus
• The parks within walking distances near campus
o Bayard Rustin Park on Rosedale Ave (by Swope Music Building)
o Everheart Park on the 500 block of Union Street

physical activity_blog

Grab a friend and head outside for some healthy and fun physical activity!

Written by Andrew Ramirez, Peer Educator

Happy World Health Day!

April 7th marked the 66th anniversary of the World Health Organization- WHO; the leader and coordinator of health within the United Nations system. They provide information on global health issues, help shape research agendas, set standards for health all across the globe, and educate people on how to practice better health.world-health-day-2013

Each year, they select one pressing health topic and create a campaign to raise awareness on the issue along with commemorating the formation of WHO. This year Vector-borne diseases are the focus with a tag line that reads, “Small Bite: Big Threat.”

What are Vector-borne diseases?
Vector-borne diseases are illness caused by parasites and pathogens, and are spread through the bite of a mosquito, tick, or other blood feeding insects or arachnids. Vector-borne diseases include:
• Malaria
• Lyme disease
• Yellow fever
• Dengue
• Japanese encephalitis


Why you should care: If you plan on traveling overseas this summer, find out what vector- borne diseases are common in the area and get vaccinated. It can save your life. You don’t have to travel far to come in contact with Lyme disease, as it is very common in Pennsylvania. Lyme disease is contracted through the bite of a diseased tick. Ticks are extremely hard to see, but a common sign of being bit is a bulls-eye type rash. If gone untreated, Lyme disease can cause arthritis, pain, and exhaustion. It can also spread to the heart and central nervous system.

Common Symptoms of Lyme disease:
• Fever
• Chills
• Headache
• Fatigue
• Muscle and joint pain


For more information on Lyme disease, check out this CDC link! http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/


Before you travel, don’t forget your boarding pass from World Health Organization! There are a lot of helpful simple measures that you can use to protect yourself and your family.

world health day


Written by Erica Vasquez, Peer Educator

Go Whole or Go Home: Why You Should Eat Whole Grain Foods

                                                                whole grain_wheaties

Next time you’re eating your Wheaties in the morning, think more about what’s in the box rather than who’s on it. So what’s in the box? Wheaties and other whole grain products use whole grains, rather than refined grains, as their main ingredient, which makes for a healthier food choice.
So, What are Whole Grains?
Whole grains are unrefined grains that contain all the essential natural nutrients of the grain seed. To be considered whole grain, all the essential naturally occurring nutrients from the grain must be intact. They contain nutrients and vitamins essential to a healthy diet. Whole grains include wheat, barley, rice, oats, corn, rye, and many others! Multigrain foods can contain up to 12 types of these grains, but be careful when choosing multigrain foods. Many products place “multi-grain” labels on food packaging, but the food may still contain primarily processed grains. This mean the food lost many of the natural nutrients that whole grains provide. Whole grain multigrain foods are the healthiest options!

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Benefits of Whole Grains:
Whole grains provide numerous health benefits when eaten daily. Whole grains are the healthiest form of grain and are often overlooked because of other processed or sometimes misleading competitors. Also, whole grains contain essential antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are also found in fruits and vegetables and some others. They like B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and fiber!
Whole grains help prevent heart disease, reduce risk of Type 2 diabetes and colon cancer, and can aid in digestion due to high fiber content. Whole grains can help you live a healthier, longer life, so why not incorporate them into your diet?

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Healthy Whole Grain Food Options:
Breakfast: Breakfast is the meal that jump starts your day and will keep you going, so kick it off right! Try a whole grain bagel or toast, whole grain cereals with low sugar, whole grain oatmeal, or whole grain pancakes! You can even get creative and use fruit or spices to make your breakfast interesting!
Snacks: Choose foods that use fewer preservatives and contain whole grains! Whole grain granola bars are a great snack to hold you over! Or try a handful of Wheaties, a piece of whole wheat toast, or whole grain popcorn! Even the popular snacks like Goldfish and Cheez-its have whole grain alternatives!
Dinner: Dinner has endless possibilities with a variety of whole grain pastas, breads, and oats. Lots of recipes can be found online or in cook books that use whole grain as a main ingredient. By incorporating whole grains into your dinner schedule who can start a healthier diet and lifestyle!
Check out these delicious whole grain recipes:


To learn more about whole grain, visit the Whole Grains Council website:



Written by Matt Keller, Peer Educator

Drive Safe, Stay Alive

According to the Official US Government Website for Distracted Driving, “distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” Distracted driving endangers not only the driver, but also the passengers, other drivers on the road, and pedestrians or bystanders.

What You Can Do to Stay Safe:

- Fully focus on driving.
- Put your electronics in the back seat or glove compartment.
- Put in one CD or select one playlist and don’t change it.
-Make adjustments before you start driving; Fix your seats, mirrors, air conditioning or heat, and GPS.
- If you need to eat or drink while driving, choose a snack or drink that is convenient and doesn’t take your eyes from the road.
-If another activity demands your attention, pull over!
- Speak out if you are in a car with a distracted driver.
- Encourage your family and friends to drive safely.
-Take the pledge to not drive distracted, and learn more at:
http://www.itcanwait.com/ or



For a first-hand account of the effects of distracted driving, check out “the faces of distracted driving” at:

Written by Sam Tatulli, Peer Educator

Meningitis: Know the Facts

Meningitis can affect anyone of all ages, shapes, and sizes, but it especially targets those living in close quarters such as college resident halls! It is vital that you be aware of what meningitis is, and how it could potentially affect your life.

Meningitis is the inflammation of the meninges, which are the 3 layers of protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

This infection can be caused by either bacteria or virus. The virus form is the most common, and presents itself with flu-like symptoms. There are no medications to treat the virus; the body instead usually fights it off on its own within a week or two. Bacterial is a much more aggressive form of meningitis. This form can present itself in a matter of hours and the impact can be catastrophic. Antibiotics and often hospitalizations are often needed if bacterial meningitis is suspected.

There are three forms of meningitis which we are most familiar with.
1. Haemophilus influenzae type B- can cause pneumonia, throat swelling, as well as infect the blood, bones, joints, and heart. It can also cause blindness, deafness, mental retardation, learning disabilities, and death.
2. Pneumococcus- causes high fever, severe headache, nausea and vomiting, stiff neck, and sensitivity to light.
3. Meningococcus- symptoms can start suddenly or develop slowly over a few days; causing high fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, confusion, sleepiness, seizures, or a red/purple rash all over the body.


Symptoms will vary, depending on the type of meningitis you are dealing with but these are common symptoms to look for:
• Stiff Neck
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Red or Purple Rashes All Over the Body
• Severe Headache
• Sensitivity to Light
• Flu-Like Symptoms
• Irritability
• Exhaustion
• Seizures


Meningitis can be prevented. Meningitis is most often spread through saliva (spit). Prevent infection by limiting contact with others through kissing, coughing, and avoid sharing cups, utensils, and anything else that comes in contact with someone else’s mouth. Also, be sure you wash your hands often.

Vaccinations are available against most strains of this disease, are your best bet for protection. If you were 16 or younger when you were vaccinated, it is strongly recommended that you get a booster vaccine for maximum protection.

If you have not been vaccinated, or if you need a booster vaccine, contact your family doctor for an appointment. You can also be vaccinated at Student Health Services. http://www.wcupa.edu/_services/stu.inf/health/immunizations.asp

For more information visit:


Written by DeVonna Smith, Peer Educator

LGBTQ and You!

Did you know that LGBTQ Health Awareness Week is this week, 3/24-3/28? Not only is it a great week to celebrate the health and safety of all members in our community, but a chance for all to understand a little more about what it means to identify as LGBTQ!

lgbtqa health

The Breakdown.

Do you know the LGBTQ acronym? Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. In short, it is important to understand that although each within the community is an individual with specific needs and health concerns, all are united to promote gender equality and civil rights. You may be wondering how you are affected if you do not fit into one of these categories. Ever heard of the other acronym, LGBTQA? The ‘A’ stands for Ally and these people serve an important and equal part in the LGBTQ community by supporting and advocating for rights, as well as creating a safe space in personal and professional settings.

Know the terminology: http://www.lgbt.ucla.edu/documents/LGBTTerminology.pdf

Understanding Access to Health Care.
Think access to health care and a friendly provider is the same for everyone? Think again. The reality is that LGBT individuals face more health disparity than other identities caused by society and its relentless discrimination against basic freedom, i.e. human rights! According to the Healthy People 2020 Initiative for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health,” there is a significant discrepancy in the number of medical staff trained who are culturally competent in delivering health care essential to this crucial population in the U.S. What this means is that it has become typical in society to not just deny or give inadequate care to LGBT individuals due to personal bias, but there is not enough preparation and certification for LGBT care when becoming a medical professional!
More info: http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topicsobjectives2020/overview.aspx?topicid=25
Watch this video to see how New York City Health and Hospitals initiated employee training to correctly serve LGBT New Yorkers!

Come together!
Let’s start talking–spread the word! There are so many issues related to LGBTQ Health Awareness; this is a week to recognize the beauty and construct of it. Education is power so stand up for what you believe in. Inspired to do something here on West Chester University’s campus? Consider attending LGBTQA’s meeting Mondays from 4:30-5:30pm in Sykes 252 on Queer Wellness. Remember to check out Facebook pages @ WCU’s LGBTQA and WCU Wellness Education for more information.

Written by Jordan Buckley, Peer Educator