Dina Fanara

Assistant News Editor

November has been labeled ‘Stress Month’ by the newly formed Advocacy department of the McMaster Students Union (MSU).

Through the month, the Advocacy Street Team will be holding table days every Tuesday on the first floor of the student centre, where students can come to get tips and free swag to help them de-stress.

The headline events for Advocacy Stress Week are the de-stress rooms, which will be run each Wednesday for the rest of the month by the Advocacy Street Team.

At these events, students are welcome to drop in at any time to participate in the activities and pick up some swag, courtesy of Advocacy and their partners in organizing and running these events.

Some of the groups signed up to present or lead activities at these sessions are Moksha Yoga, organized through the Student Health Education Centre (SHEC), student lobby groups, the MSU Promotions and Advertising Committee and Diversity Services, as well as several motivational speakers, brought in by the club Motivation for McMaster.

The Advocacy department is new addition this year. It works as an informational and promotional tool that connects the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA), the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) and the MSU as a whole.

In addition to Advocacy Stress Month, Advocacy runs the OUSA Blue Chair campaign and promotion of MSU presidential elections in the second term.

“November [was chosen to be Stress Month] because it’s the time when students are realizing how busy school is and are hit by the big wave of midterms, essays and assignments,” said Shivani Persad, Advocacy Coordinator.

The kickoff session held on Nov. 16 gave students the opportunity to listen to and interact with motivational speaker Pamela Tracz

Tracz focused her discussion on the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, leaving those in attendance with this final message: being a student is the time of your life, and too many students are too busy stressing to fully appreciate it.

The thought provoking message  explained that if you take proper care of yourself, you will be able to more thoroughly enjoy what is happening in the world around you.

An instructor from Moksha Yoga was also present to give an introductory yoga lesson to all in attendance, with focus on relaxation and self-awareness.

As Advocacy Stress Month is the largest event to be organized by Advocacy thus far, much pressure lies on the success of event to promote Advocacy and its sub-sections to as many students as possible.

This is the second year that the Stress Week program has run at McMaster. Alicia Ali, MSU VP (Education) and last year’s OUSA Coordinator for McMaster, launched the program last year with Chris Martin, former MSU VP (Education).

This year, Advocacy aims to de-stress students through these planned events primarily in terms of their educational concerns.

This can be achieved through activities that will allow them to take stress off other aspects of life, help them find the proper tools to be productive in all they do and get the most out of their time here at McMaster.

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