Gear Up

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GEAR UP: Road to a BEAR-able Fall Finals


In Fall 2013, the Holistic Health-Programming Department of the AAVP launched a project to help students get ready for finals week. During Reading, Review, and Recitation (RRR) week, the department held a week-long series of events to promote students’ well-being and provide free resources. Students working in the Office of the Academic Affairs Vice President each signed up for shifts to table at the ASUC tent on Sproul to promote health and studying tips, hand out free green books and scantrons, distribute free stress balls, and administer the various activities taking place each day. On Monday December 2, 2013, the department held a special event called “Our Stories: A dialogue on the experience of first-generation low-income students at CAL” for marginalized/disenfranchised students. The purpose of this event was to address the impact that marginalization has on students’ academic life and well-being. GEAR UP’s theme for Tuesday December 3, 2013, was called “Sweet Treats and Bear Hugs.” On that day, students working in the AAVP volunteered to dress up as Oski and gave bear hugs to students who stopped by at the ASUC tent because hugs have been scientifically proven to increase happiness, which thus increases students’ health and well-being. The theme for Wednesday December 4, 2013 was “Messages from the Heart.” On that day, students could write a positive message on a heart-shaped pieces of paper to students on campus that they cared about, clip the heart-shaped paper on the ASUC tent, and then wait for the recipients to pick them up later that day. This activity was intended to promote care and support among students at Cal. “Sharing is Caring” was the theme on Thursday December 5, 2014. On that day, students were encouraged to contribute to a CARE poster by expressing their feelings and academic goals on post-it notes, which would combine to form a larger representation of the Cal community. During the evening, there was a cardio kickboxing event for students to take a break from studying and kick their stress away with this workout session. On Friday December 6, 2013, the department held a jousting competition on Memorial Glade to further help students fight off the stress anxiety attacks that finals week tends to cause. Overall, this week-long project was very successful. The free bear-shaped stress balls were such a success that students began posting them on social media, and they were all gone well before RRR week was over.

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Related Topics

  • Academic Affairs Vice President
  • RRR Week