SRU sets its ‘IZE’ on resiliency Nov. 7-16


The Student Nonprofit Alliance at Slippery Rock University will join with more than 30 other campus offices, departments and student clubs and organizations in hosting "IZE on Resiliency Week," Nov. 7-16.

Nov. 6, 2019

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The Student Nonprofit Alliance at Slippery Rock University will join with more than 30 other campus offices, departments and student clubs and organizations in hosting "IZE on Resiliency Week," Nov. 7-16.

The week, focused on helping to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health and how students can practice self-care, challenges the SRU community to "take time to realIZE the impact of the issue, empathIZE with those impacted by the issue and mobilIZE to change the current reality."

"The number of college students dealing with anxiety, depression and self-harm across the country has escalated to a level that has made this a pressing social justice issue," said Alice Del Vecchio, assistant professor of philanthropy and nonprofit leadership and chair of the Philanthropy, Nonprofit Leadership and Public Affairs Department.

"Each semester, IZE focuses on a social justice issue we deem incredibly relevant," Del Vecchio said. "SNA members voiced a concern regarding the well-being of SRU students and wondered how we might be able to build a culture of resiliency on campus. IZE on Resiliency is in response to their desire to foster the well-being of our campus community, open up about reducing the stigma associated with mental illness and find ways to practice self-care and support for each other."

Alice Del Vecchio


SRU's College of Liberal Arts, Student Government Association, Human Resources Office, Student Affairs Office, and Office for Inclusive Excellence will join with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Gov. Tom Wolf's Office, the Student Veterans Association of America chapter at SRU and Butler's Center for Community Resources in making presentations throughout the 13-event, 10-day campaign.

The week kicks off with a Mental Health Fair, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Nov. 7 in the Smith Student Center Theater. The goal of the fair, which is being hosted by the President's Commission on Mental Health and the Office for Student Support, is to enhance awareness of mental health resources on campus and in the community.

The SGA is sponsoring a town hall at 5 p.m., Nov. 7 in the SSC Theater. Joey Scuito, a sophomore social work major and SGA speaker of the senate from New Wilmington, will host students and community members in a discussion on mental health issues facing the campus. Panelists will include Janet Flecker, certified registered nurse practitioner from Student Health Services; Stacy Arend, assistant professor of athletics; Ken Messina, associate professor of counseling and development; Jennifer Phillips, assistant director of residence life; Kim Coffaro, assistant director of disability services; and Jane Hale, associate professor of counseling and development and chair of the President's Commission on Mental Health.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's Suicide Prevention Task Force will conduct a public listening session 10 a.m. to noon, Nov. 8, at the Smith Student Center Theater. The public event is one of 10 sessions that are part of the SPTF's statewide listening tour, which was organized to increase focus on suicide prevention as part of Wolf's broader executive order in August to reduce gun violence in Pennsylvania.

Students and community members looking for a way to destress are encouraged to attend Self-Care Sunday, 6-9 p.m., Nov. 10 in the SSC Ballroom. The stress reducing, community-building event is designed to promote coping skills through fun and interactive stations and activities that will be hosted by more than 20 student groups and organizations.

Students are also invited to the Ski Lodge for a screening of the Disney-Pixar film "Inside Out," 6-8 p.m., Nov. 11. The film follows the five emotions - Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear - of 11-year-old Riley as they try to guide her through the difficult and life-changing event of her family moving across the country. The film addresses the importance of managing one's emotions compared to keeping them concealed and letting them run havoc.

Student leaders and community assistants are being encouraged to attend "Support Ourselves and Each Other: a Workshop with Alyse Schacter" during Common Hour, Nov. 12. Schacter is a health sciences major at the University of Ottawa who is best known for her TEDx Talk "The Stigma of Mental Illness" and "Getting Unstuck." The purpose of the workshop is to help student leaders promote resilience among their residents or club and organization members as well as how to avoid burnout as a leader.

Students, faculty and staff are invited to attend or participate in the Nov. 12 and 14 Protect 22 Pushup Challenge during Common Hour in The Quad. Participants will be asked to do 22 pushups to build awareness about suicide among veterans. The event, based on the national social media campaign encouraging participants to do 22 pushups for 22 days, will be hosted by the SRU chapter of the Student Veterans Association of America.

The Office for Inclusive Excellence will host the third installment of their Diversity Dialogue series, 5-6 p.m., Nov. 12, SSC Room 322. The series addresses prominent topics on campus and in culture. The Nov. 12 session will be focused on strategies for better self-care.

SNA will host a MyIntent Project bracelet making event during Common Hour, Nov. 14 in the SSC. Attendees can stamp their chosen "power word" on a metal bracelet. MyIntent bracelets, according to its website, "are a powerful tool because they invite you to reflect on what's most important and then you have a stylish wearable daily reminder of the one thing you want to be your best self."

Nov. 15, students, faculty and staff will be asked to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Day by wearing a lime green ribbon to identify themselves as a person who cares about resiliency and reducing the stigma associated with mental health. Lime green ribbons will be available at all IZE events throughout the week and at various locations in the SSC, Boozel Dining Hall and Bailey Library, Nov. 15.

The week concludes with a Mental Health First Aid Certification class, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Nov. 16 in Spotts World Culture Building, Room 219. The all-day workshop will provide participants with basic first aid training that addresses mental health specifics. The event will be conducted by Marsha Wagner, an educator at Butler's Center for Community Resources. Reservations are required and available on CORE.

"Students sometimes forget that there are a variety of avenues for support throughout the campus," said Del Vecchio. "All they need to do is ask. SRU is a caring community and we hope these events will serve as a reminder of that to everyone. No one is ever truly alone."

MEDIA CONTACT: Lesa Bressanelli | 724.738.2091 |