By: Vee Babbar, Peak Associate and Member of SFUPOH
Peek-a-boo, SFU! Halloween is just around the corner, so let us bring out our festive flair and make some memories. As everyone knows, midterm season can be full of fear and dread for most students. According to SFU Health Services, 84% of SFU students report that their mental health interferes with their academic performance. SFUPOH (Pursuit of Happiness Club) strives to reduce this number by organizing stress-relieving events, where students can make friends in a respectful environment and engage in exciting activities. As a member of SFUPOH myself, I got to speak with Ivan Flores, former vice-president of human resources and an active volunteer in SFUPOH, so we can share more about what SFUPOH does.
First, the upcoming Halloween event: to kill some of that spooky stress this Halloween, SFUPOH is hosting a Pumpkin Carving event on October 24! Pumpkin carving begins at 6 p.m. and includes a Halloween movie. More information about this event and all the exciting activities will be posted on the club’s Instagram handle, @sfupoh.
The SFUPOH’s mission is to “promote the importance of mental and physical health by providing engaging events throughout the semester.” According to Flores, SFUPOH organizes events meant to “provide a safe and supporting environment for students to have fun and chill, but to also bring awareness to mental health.”
A memorable event for SFUPOH was Bob Ross day. “We had a day at SFU where we put [on] a Bob Ross video and just painted, and followed the [. . .] video,” Flores said. Apart from fun events, SFUPOH also organizes events revolving around physical health. For example, there was a yoga and nutrition session, where a yoga instructor and nutritionist each hosted a 30-minute session to help students learn about healthy eating and living. According to Flores, events like these have been a huge success, and both organizers and attendees loved being a part of it. I had the opportunity to attend the yoga night, and it was a rejuvenating event that marked the beginning of my own meditation journey. With the right guidance and a cheerful session with SFUPOH, I found a new healthy habit.
Flores also spoke about their random acts of kindness event: “We gave goodie bags [. . .] just to spread positivity around midterm season.” SFUPOH makes an effort to promote inclusivity and foster a positive environment by going beyond physical and mental health — sometimes they just actively interact with the community.
When asked how to join the club, Flores responded, “There’s two ways for joining the club.” The first way is by being an active volunteer in the club. Positions are typically posted on the club’s Instagram once every semester, so if you are interested in the position description, be sure to apply. The club has several coordinator positions, like external relations, marketing, and human resources. But, be mindful when applying as every member is hired for at least two to three terms.
The other way is to be an active collaborator with the club, and to participate in events open to the public. According to Flores, working with the SFUPOH is a great way to develop organizational and leadership skills that can help students’ career growth. There are plenty of networking opportunities, so meeting new people and making solid connections will become your forte. Overall, Flores wanted to convey the importance of maintaining mental and physical wellness. “Mental and physical health are very important to talk about [. . .] One great thing about SFUPOH is that everyone values the importance of speaking up about it, and secondly, the other message is that, everyone’s welcome.” SFUPOH aims to promote the importance of overall well-being and nurture a safe and supportive network for students. With engaging events and an inclusive environment, the club addresses the challenges to overall wellness experienced by the members of our community.