WUC helps unite female community
When Trisha Schwartz first arrived in Syracuse, she didn’t know anyone or she didn’t know what the city had to offer. She decided to join an organization called Women in the University Community hoping she would meet a few people.
She met many more than a few.
‘I met tons of people,’ she said. ‘This organization had a lot to offer. I even joined the board my second year.’
WUC is a not-for-profit organization that introduces female faculty and staff – as well as female spouses and partners of faculty and staff – at Syracuse University, the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and the State University of New York Upstate Medical University to women who share similar interests. The group offers women social support groups, playgroups, community service opportunities and involvement in three scholarships that support female students.
When Schwartz joined the group, the first social event she went to as a member was the annual fall gathering. Schwartz said that the gathering works to help introduce newcomers to older members and teach them about happenings in the community. The theme for the gathering this year was ‘Health is Wealth.’ Held at the home of Chris and Tom Welch in the Peck Hill area, the event brought in an array of health officials from around Syracuse.
The committee also invited two guest speakers to the event. Laurel Sterling Prisco, counselor and nutrition educator for Natur-Tyme, and Eric Prager, owner of Train to Attain and the Strive for Recovery Program, were both asked to add to the ‘Health is Wealth’ theme.
‘I wanted to ask the question, ‘Why eat healthy?” Prisco said. ‘I wanted to show the benefits and choices, incorporation, as well as disease prevention.’
Prager also talked about healthy eating, but included exercise techniques.
‘I’m talking about the many benefits and solutions to exercise,’ he said, ‘but mostly the balance and accountability into life.’
The health officials and speakers set up tables and distributed information about their associations. WUC also had packets and bags of pamphlets brimming with information on what to do in Syracuse and events planned for later this year. There were also two stations where guests could receive a massage and learn about relaxation.
WUC sent recruitment letters to potential new members that included a form asking for names and addresses and explaining the due-payment process.
‘Graduate students should be most interested in the organization,’ Schwartz added. ‘Hopefully they will continue to be affiliated with the university somehow.’
WUC also helps undergrads with scholarship opportunities. The Whaley Scholarship is given to a female junior in SUNY ESF, the Tolley Scholarship is given to outstanding students in the College of Health Services and Human Professions and the Eggers Scholarship is given to students through SU’s Continuing Education divisions. Each scholarship honors a woman who has been influential in the SU community.
WUC helps to establish a strong bond between new and old members of the university community. It will continue to offer opportunities to female graduate students and undergraduate students. Schwartz knows all the benefits of the WUC and its many events.
‘It just has helped me tremendously,’ she said.
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