October 20, 2006

Panel, students tackle women’s health issues

Chicago’s chapter of the National Organization of Women (NOW) offered answers to all of those delicate questions Wednesday for Love Your Body Week.

“It was a great way to begin the year, and we’re planning on having another Love Your Body Week during winter quarter,” fourth-year event coordinator Michelle Rengarajan said.

A small group met on Wednesday afternoon for the week’s main event, a question-and-answer session covering women’s health issues. To protect anonymity, participants wrote questions concerning everything from birth control to mood disorders to vitamins on slips of paper that were chosen and answered at random.

A panel of four women, including two staff members from the Student Counseling and Resource Center, a nurse practitioner from the Student Care Center, and a nutritionist, doled out advice to students who wanted to give their physiques some extra TLC.

Interest in other Love Your Body Week events, however, was tempered by timing. Crowd-pleasing activities, such as Monday night’s scheduled belly-dancing and henna tattooing, were canceled due to a lack of demonstrated interest, the result of early midterms and related student groups being slower to start up.

“Love Your Body Week is a national event which is put on by a number of different organizations, not just NOW,” Rengarajan said. “Usually we coordinate with other groups on campus, but it is pretty early in the year, and a lot of other clubs are not up and running yet.”

Not to be deterred, NOW is busy planning more activities for members of both sexes. Although Wednesday’s gathering drew a small crowd, new faces and piqued interest have the organization expecting a busy year.

“We already have plans for the rest of this quarter and into next year, so we should be hosting some more events pretty soon,” Rengarajan said.