Hazing can be looked at as bullying with a purpose — initiation — but it can also have severe consequences, according to Robert Hackenson, Jr., the founder and professional self-described “edutaining” speaker and trainer for Dynamic Influence.
On Wednesday, March 2, at SUNY Cortland, Hackenson will offer skit hypnosis, mind magic, illusions and more while he delivers important information about how students can end hazing and bullying in their lives.
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Hackenson will present “Hazing and Bullying: Let’s Talk About Respect” at 7:30 p.m. in the Corey Union Function Room.
His program continues SUNY Cortland’s Spring 2016 “Wellness Wednesday Series” featuring speakers, exhibits, self-help workshops and other programs intended to encourage campus and community members to learn more about health and wellness.
Programs will run through the spring semester under the theme “Treasure Your Health,” with topics addressing mental health, environmental wellness, avoiding risky behavior, disability sport education and alternative means of achieving better health including outdoor recreation, eating right and spiritual wellness.
Sponsored by the Health Promotion Office, the series will take place on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, unless otherwise noted. The events are free and open to the public.
According to Hackenson, in recent years on college campuses students not only have experienced face-to-face bullying but also cyber-bullying, hazing, hate crimes and threats. This results in students feeling trapped and lashing out by harming themselves or others.
They can be proactive by educating themselves on the negative effects of all types of bullying while taking a leadership role on campus to promote healthy and positive social involvement.
Hackenson, who also uses video, audience participation and true, heart wrenching stories to make his point, will arrive to campus early and perform his strolling mind magic as a “teaser” for the presentation.
This “edutational” presentation — a word that appears to combine “educational” and “entertainment” — aims to take attendees through a rollercoaster of emotions, creates hazing and bullying awareness on campus, and challenges students to stand together and make a difference.
“Whether it’s hazing on a team or organization, emotional bullying amongst roommates, or cyber bullying, if students stand together they can make a positive difference,” Hackenson said. “Respect for oneself and for others is of utmost importance.”
Wellness Wednesday continues through the end of April. Events include:
On March 9, a “Safe Spring Break Fair” will offer tips for a carefree spring break. The fair, from noon to 3 p.m. in the Student Life Center Lobby, will feature tips from student interns with Health Promotion; Andrea Hart, a registered dietician and New York state certified dietician-nurse who is employed with the SUNY Cortland Auxiliary Services Corporation; and representatives of the campus sexual health club AIDS Prevention and Awareness Club (APAC) and Substance Abuse Prevention and Education. Free items will be given away.
On March 23, Hart will join the Health Promotion interns to sample a “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right” event hosted by ASC. The gathering, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Life Center Lobby and Bistro, encourages students to take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences food can add to their lives.
Catherine MacDonald, an associate professor in the Physical Education Department, will share her knowledge about inclusion through sport on March 30. McDonald’s talk, “Disability Sport Education,” will begin at 7:30 p.m. The session will include an overview of sport for individuals with and without a disability as well as an opportunity to be active. Attendees are encouraged to wear loose clothing.
On April 6, campus ministers Rev. Vicki Johnson and Shawn Allen will offer “Treasure Your Spiritual Wellness.” According to them, the term “wellness” involves many aspects of life.
“On this evening we will focus on how we can treasure — and nurture — our spiritual health,” Rev. Johnson said. “Our faith backgrounds may vary, but in the midst of our diversity we recognize that we each have a vital, spiritual self.” Allen added, “No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome to come and experience some ways to deepen your own spirituality.”
The Sexual Assault Awareness and Programming Committee will present “Interrupting Rape Culture” on April 13. The committee members note that numbers of sexual assault and violence are too high across the nation. They encourage the campus community to come and interact as they provide solutions to decrease these numbers and “interrupt” rape culture.
Two Wellness Wednesday events are set for April 20. The Sustainability Committee will staff an informational table from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Student Life Center Lobby, to celebrate Earth Day, which this year is on Friday, April 22. Also, Alexis Blavos, an assistant professor in the College’s Health Department, will discuss the “Pot Culture” as it relates to student health.
Jason Harcum, assistant director, recreational sports for Outdoor Pursuits and Outdoor Pursuits student staff, will discuss some of the many adventures that Outdoor Pursuits has to offer, on April 27. His talk, “Taste of the Outdoors,” in the Corey Union Function Room, will let participants sample an interactive demo that includes packing a sea kayak, stand up paddle boarding, pitching a tent, learning knots and anchor building.
For more information or accommodation to attend an event, contact Lauren Herman, the College’s health educator, in Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-1 or at 607-753-2066.
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