BAM (The Body Acceptance Movement), a student-run organization, will sponsor a series of events on campus in honor of the National Eating Disorder Association’s Awareness Week from February 24 through March 2.

For students seeking additional information or help, clinics on campus are always open to those struggling with body image issues or eating disorders.

Individual therapy is available at Psychological Services in the Student Health Center, at the Psychological Clinic in Kent Hall and a Counseling and Human Development Center in White Hall.


The NEDAwareness, National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associate Disorders lists the main causes of eating disorders as:

  • Genetics
  • Psychological factors, such as coping skills, trauma, personality and family issues
  • Social issues and a culture promoting thinness

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Organizations like BAM should exist despite obstacles

Colleen Fitzgibbons, a graduate public health student, had to complete a practicum for her degree.

Fitzgibbons officially registered BAM as a student organization at Kent State in Fall 2012.

Colette Armes, an officer in the Body Acceptance Movement organization and a friend of Fitzgibbons, said she joined because some of her friends have had eating disorders.

“I’ve had some close friends of mine struggle with eating disorders, and I never knew how to help them,” said Armes, higher education and student personnel graduate student. “I’m sure many people have been in this same situation and they don’t know how to help their struggling friend. This organization can help with that.”

But Armes still has concerns about the new organization.

“I don’t want students to think this is a typical female eating disorder group,”Armes said. “I know that can be the stigma when you hear about groups like this.”

Armes is also worried the organization won’t attract male students.

“We don’t want this to solely consist of females,” Armes said. “No one acknowledges the fact that men are struggling with the same issues. This causes them to be more ashamed about admitting it.”

But Armes said student organizations like BAM should exist despite the obstacles.

“It’s extremely important to have groups like this on a college campus,” Armes said. “Students shouldn’t feel like they are suffering alone. There are always going to be other people in the same boat you are, so why not bring those people together and start something great?”

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BAM organization focuses on body image, self-esteem issues

Jenny Misiak struggles with body image and wanted to be part of a student organization that helps people feel comfortable in their own skin.

“I’ve gone through weight fluctuations,” said Misiak, a senior exercise science major. “And I’ve had issues finding love for my body and love for myself. So I wanted to be part of a group with people who feel the same way.”

So Misiak joined the Body Acceptance Movement, which became an official Kent State student organization last year.

The organization will focus on reducing the stigma that surrounds body image and self-esteem related issues, while also providing students with resources and support throughout the development of a healthy body image.

“Basically, we plan on spreading the love,” Misiak said.

Colleen Fitzgibbons, public health graduate student and president of BAM, said she started the organization last year because almost everyone can relate to the issues at hand.

“I believe that everyone has insecurities and that everyone suffers from body image issues whether they are aware of it or not,” Fitzgibbons said.

Fitzgibbons said the organization lacked detail and scheduled events at first because she was planning to first get ideas from prospective members who attend the informational meetings. She said the organization’s Facebook page already has 203 “likes.”

“I think students will want to join because we aren’t focusing on one target audience,” Fitzgibbons said. “We will focus on all genders, all sexual orientations and all races. We want to go across the board and try and create this movement of body acceptance.”

But before joining, Fitzgibbons said students must understand an important limitation of the organization.

“I want people to know this organization isn’t going to be a giant counseling session,” Fitzgibbons said.

“We want people to express themselves and share their opinions, but they need to be aware that we aren’t clinical counselors.”

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Is PR the right major for you?

Public Relations As kids it seemed like everyone knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. After “pretend teaching” my two younger brothers, I was dead set on becoming a teacher (boy was I wrong about that one). But by the time you hit college and have to pick a major, suddenly your career path might not seem as clear or simple anymore as it was when you were younger. Yes, some people do grow up and follow the career path they fantasized about when they were younger, but it doesn’t always work out that way for everyone.  This leads me to my topic for the week: public relations.

Because I was completely unsure of what I wanted to do with my life, I started my freshman year of college as an undecided/exploratory major. I was eventually able to realize that public relations was the major for me after multiple talks with my adviser and a lot of research on my part. Now as a third year PR major, I am more aware of some of the signs that public relations would/wouldn’t be  the right major for someone. So if you are thinking about, or are currently a PR major, check out the following list below.

Signs that public relations ISN’T the right major for you:

1. You hate to write 

Part of the reason I chose to major in PR is because I love to write. If writing is something you dread doing, and you can’t form a concise sentence without  any grammar mistakes, stay away from PR. Plain and simple.

2. You don’t care about current events 

Do you enjoy keeping up with current events? PR is all about staying in the know. Someone like my mom who refuses to read the newspaper or watch the news probably wouldn’t make it in PR.

3. Deadlines…what are those? 

Meeting deadlines can be crucial in PR. If you’re someone with the mindset that “things will get done when they get done” I wouldn’t recommend this career. I also want to point out that organization and multitasking skills are important. You will need to deal with a number of different tasks on a daily basis.

4. Communicating with people and building relationships isn’t important to you

To be successful in PR, it’s important that you are a people person. Like most jobs, you need to be friendly and sociable, while also being able to tolerate all different types of personalities. PR takes this a step farther. You need to also be able to build and MAINTAIN relationships. Major emphasis on the maintaining part.

5. You don’t respond well to criticism 

I understand that this can apply to almost every job, but there is something different about PR that requires a little tougher skin. Nothing is worse than getting dismissed by a reporter or having a client completely shoot down your ideas/pitch.  More importantly, you need to be able expect criticism and learn how to adapt. Staying on your toes is crucial. And always have a back up plan!

If you went through this list and think a career in PR is right for you, check out this article that discusses 6 reasons you should major in public relations.

Do you know of other signs that PR wouldn’t be the right choice for someone? Comment below and let me know!


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Spring break: The not so fun part

At the beginning of spring semester,  many college students start counting down the days to spring break. To some, spring break is seen as that one week a year when college students can truly let loose. The spring break tradition began in the 1960s,  and is a common feature of college life for many American students. As stated in the following infographic, spring break has become “one of the pillars of college movies, shows and other media.” In the media it is portrayed as a week fueled by sex and alcohol with no consequences. While spring break is a great time to unwind, it’s important to remember to keep safety a top priority. It’s possible to have fun and create life-long memories while also being smart about your well-being.

Here are a few other tips to keep in mind:

1. Stay in a group and never leave your drink unattended

2.  Always have your cell phone

3. Be smart about cash

4. Social-networking sites have made it impossible to escape things you might want to forget

The truth is, Spring Break is awesome, but like everything in life, it will eventually come to an end. And remember, what happens on spring break doesn’t stay on spring break. So if you’re a college student headed to a popular spring break destination, take a look at the statistics on the following infographic below from and leave a comment. I would love to get your feedback about spring break and any advice you may have!

Spring Break Infographic

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Laundry for Dummies

Washing MachineI grew up in a household where I never had to do laundry. I had many other chores, but laundry was never one of them. I didn’t realize how lucky I was until I went off to college. I brushed off my Mom’s advice and didn’t pay attention to anything she said, so my first laundry experience in college was a true nightmare. Lets just say I had some brand new white clothes that weren’t so white anymore. After my laundry fiasco, I decided it was best I listen to my mom. After three years of doing my own laundry, I now consider myself a laundry pro. Laundry really isn’t that difficult, but there are important steps many first timers don’t always realize.

Here is my version of laundry for dummies:


Separate your clothes into piles of  light colors, dark colors, and whites. Sometimes it’s a good idea to break this down even further into reds, bright colors, etc. I’ve had the problem where I don’t have enough whites to make a full load. If this happens, it’s OK to put them into your light pile. Just make sure your lights are truly light colors. This will help avoid color damage and a lot of ruined clothes. If you are really particular, separate clothes that produce lint (towels, sweatshirts, flannel) from clothes that attract it (corduroy, velvet, permanent press). Often times girls will also need to make a pile of “delicates.”

As you sort your clothes into piles, close zippers and check pockets. Closing your zippers will help prevent snagging, and emptying your pockets will prevent shreds of paper and many other things all over your clothes.


When you sort through your clothes, be on the lookout for stains. Many stains will come out in the wash if you pre-treat them with a stain product. Remember, the sooner you pre-treat a stain and get it washed, the easier the stain will come out. If you get yellow armpit stains, here is how to prevent and remove them.


  • Water Temperature

Use warm water for whites/lights and cold water for colors. Notice I said warm water and not hot. I’ve found that using only warm water is perfectly fine. But you might want to use hot water for towels, linens, gym clothes, etc. because it’s best at getting things clean. Most clothes say on the tag at what temperature they should be washed at, but if you are unsure, washing them on cold is always your best bet. In general, cold water saves on energy, protects colors, and avoids shrinkage.

  • Cycles 

Most machines label the laundry cycles as regular, delicate/knits, or perm press. Honestly, I almost always use the regular cycle for my clothes and they turn out just fine. So if you are unsure which to use don’t stress too much. If confused about the perm press cycle like I was for the longest time, just remember that, simply put, it is designed to be a gentler cycle aimed at reducing wrinkles.

  • Load Size

As a college student, you might be tempted to cram as much of your laundry as you can into a single load  to save time and money. This isn’t smart. Your clothes need room to move around in order to get clean. So if you want clean clothes, don’t overload the machine.


  • Temperature 

The hotter the drying temperature, the greater likelihood of shrinking. If the tag says “Tumble dry” you can use the regular setting on your dryer. The medium setting is typically for permanent press clothing, and the low setting is for delicates and knits. I almost always use the regular temperature setting.

  • Remove dried clothes immediately 

To avoid wrinkles, remove clothes from the dryer immediately and fold them. The longer you let them sit there, the more wrinkles set.

Here are more general laundry tips important to remember:

  • ALWAYS read the label first 
  • Use bleach with caution
  • Clean out the lint screen on the dryer
  • Use a drying rack for easily shrinkable fabrics

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How not to be “that” roommate

As a college student, one of the biggest adjustments you’ll ever have to make is learning to live with other people. I went into my freshmen year thinking that living with a roommate would be a breeze because I grew up living with two rowdy brothers. Boy was I wrong. Roommate horror stories are pretty common, and I’ve had a few of my own. To ensure that you’re not that awful roommate everyone talks about, follow some of these tips I’ve provided.


Be honest from the beginning 

Do you hate when people snore? Are you a neat freak? Need absolute silence when you study ? Let your roommate(s) know about your preferences and quirks immediately. Upfront communication is one of the best ways to solve problems before they become real problems. Setting boundaries and understanding each others flaws will help build a lasting relationship.

Respect your roommate’s stuff 

Don’t borrow, use, or take any of their belongings without asking permission first. I can’t emphasis this enough. Even if you don’t think they will mind, it’s respectful to always ask first. This tip is especially true for girls. I’ve learned from experience that nothing is worse than looking in your closest and realizing one of your favorite shirts is missing.


Do your dishes 

Dishes left in the sink is one of my biggest pet peeves. The apartment I’m currently living in has one of the worlds worst dishwashers and because it hardly ever works, my roommates and I have to resort to hand washing all our dishes. I’m sure you can guess why this has become an issue. I couldn’t count how many times I’ve heard myself and my roommates say, “I’ll clean my dishes tonight, I promise.” There are days when I swear the dishes are piled to the ceiling. And not mention they smell horrible. So try and make a serious effort. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to clean your dishes as you use them instead of waiting to clean a bunch of them at the same time.

Keep your area clean 

Similar to the last tip, this one is just as important. It may seem that one of the joys of college is your mom isn’t there to yell at you to clean your room, but I’ve learned that this can be both a blessing and a curse. If you’re a neat freak you don’t need to worry about this tip, but what should you do if your roommate is messy? After doing some research I found a great website that provides a list of the top ten ways to help keep your dorm room clean. Maybe you could explain to your roommate you prefer a clean space and show them this list? Three years later and I’m still trying to figure out how to handle this.

But most importantly, remember to follow the Golden Rule. Treat your roommate how you’d like to be treated. If this doesn’t work, what else can you do? If you have a roommate horror story of your own, or other tips I forgot to mention, feel free to contact me or comment below.

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