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CONTACT: Patricia Harris
283 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8037

Release: Immediate

Nursing students' annual health fair to address health, safety for college students

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Displays, demonstrations and giveaways of free items related to student health and safety issues will be featured at an annual student health fair to take place at the University of Iowa's Hillcrest Residence Hall.

The fair will be April 17 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Riverview Lounge of Hillcrest. All students are invited and the fair is free.

The fair is the annual project of the UI College of Nursing class "Nursing in Community Health," a requirement for all senior nursing students. Topics of presentations range from bicycle helmet safety to stress relief and other issues that affect the health and safety of college students.

"The health fair provides a wonderful opportunity for students to confront their lifestyle and make more informed choices," says Carolyn Crowell, an assistant professor of nursing and one of the teachers of the class. "That's what 'living healthy' can mean -- learning new behaviors and making wise choices."

Students in the class are divided into groups to create displays and activities related to one particular issue of student health or safety. For example, Mike Meaney's group will address bicycle helmet safety, an important issue in a bike-laden town such as Iowa City.

The theme of their presentation is "Protect Your Melon;" to demonstrate the importance of wearing a helmet while biking, group members will display one smashed watermelon (a symbol of what can happen in a biking accident without a helmet) and one whole watermelon with a bicycle helmet strapped to it (to symbolize how helmets can protect bicyclists).

Meaney says he hopes the somewhat graphic display will attract attention to his group's booth and to the importance of wearing a helmet while biking.

"We're hoping to get as many students to the fair as possible," Meaney said. "We hope students will pick up some information about health and safety on campus."

As is the case with many other groups at the fair, Meaney's group will be giving away health and safety-related items like bike helmets and bike locks.

The students involved in the fair are entirely responsible for preparing their exhibits for the event, which includes deciding on the content of presentations, choosing display items and decorations for booths, and finding local merchants who will donate items for giveaways.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the College of Nursing in advance at 335-7018.