The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Defining B.E.A.U.T.Y.

    It is seldom that students manifest a classroom assignment into a full-fledged community initiative project. For senior Kallie Sandell, an assignment for a leadership communication course evolved into the creation of a student organization, along with the planning and launch of a community-based event. The assignment asked students to solve a problem or initiate change in the Eau Claire community. It is from this assignment that the College Women Roles Models of UW-Eau Claire (CWRM) organization and “A Day of B.E.A.U.T.Y.” event transpired.

    “Young girls face negative images of what beauty is every day,” Sandell said. “Through the organization and event I hoped to combat the constant negative bombardment of these messages.”

    To take the initiative into the community, Sandell gained the support of a team of fellow students enrolled in the leadership communication course. The recruits, junior Nikki Michaels, senior Danielle Geheran and senior Kyla Jacobs, played an instrumental role in forming the organization and event. With a mission to empower young girls to be strong, smart and bold, the team of Sandell, Michaels, Geheran and Jacobs brought its idea for change to life.

    The Organization
    CWRM of UW-Eau Claire is still a developing organization and is seeking members who wish to have a positive impact on the lives of young girls. Members will serve as role models while promoting intellectual beauty, respect, self-love, individuality and wellness.

    Story continues below advertisement

    “The purpose of CWRM is to have a positive impact on young girls in the community through mentoring and organizing events that encourage youth to make good decisions,” Sandell said.

    “We are looking for members who are interested in inspiring young girls to be strong, smart and bold,” she added.

    The Event
    The premiere event, “A Day for B.E.A.U.T.Y.,” hosted by the founders of CWRM, developed from the desire to teach young girls about intellectual beauty, wellness and individuality.

    “The use of the word beauty in the form of an acronym really capitalizes on the definition of real beauty, which is what we wanted to teach girls about,” Sandell said. “The acronym, B: beauty, E: empowerment, A: activity; U: uniqueness, T: talent, Y: youth, describes our mission.”

    With the development of the event, Sandell set out to advertise for the event by creating a press kit that she delivered to every media outlet she could think of.

    “I also went on WEAU 13 for a noon interview along with our organization advisor Dr. Deb Pattee and the recruited members of the organization,” Sandell said. It was a word-of-mouth advertising effort, she added.

    On Saturday, May 1, Sandell – along with Michaels, Jacobs and Geheran – hosted the “A Day for B.E.A.U.T.Y.” event. The event was held on the Eau Claire campus in Hibbard Hall and included four activity stations (social-emotional learning, education, wellness and arts and crafts) led by faculty and students.

    The physical wellness station, led by Dr. Gary VanGuilder and kinesiology students, focused on the importance of being active and healthy. The activities included trust games, along with stretching and strength improvement techniques.

    “I know how important it is to get kids involved in learning about health, wellness and physical activity. … We wanted to teach the girls that being physically active can be fun and should involve a wide variety of creative activities, beyond sport participation. We also wanted to teach them about trust, respect, care and responsibility when engaging in physical activity,” VanGuilder said.

    The social-emotional learning station, led by Michaels and volunteer Cindy Hahn, was designed to provide the girls with a definition of the ‘real woman’ and also to stress the falsity of the idea that a girl must define herself with certain social roles and behaviors.

    “This station included a mix of presentations, movie clips, role playing and other activities which taught the girls about emotional intelligence, bullying, social roles, body image, peer pressure and decision making,” Michaels said.

    The education station, led by Jacobs and volunteer Stephanie Cybella, emphasized the importance of intellectual beauty.

    At this station the girls wrote letters to themselves about following their dreams and reaching their goals. They plan to send the letters to the girls in January, Sandell said.

    The arts and crafts station, led by local art teacher Susan Geheran and Danielle Geheran, allowed the girls to be creative and express themselves through art work. The art project ended the day’s event and asked the girls to use what they had learned throughout the day to describe what they feel makes them unique and beautiful individuals.

    “At the arts station, the girls created a ‘mandala’ project. Using magazine cutouts, they placed in the center of a piece of paper their name, and three outside circles show their hobbies, activities and interests and hold descriptive words of what they believe makes them beautiful,” Sandell said.

    Also a part of the event was a chaperone station led by Pattee, which allowed parents and guardians to ask questions about and discuss the ‘girl world’ – from development to ‘mean girls syndrome’ and other such issues.

    “We were so happy with the event. We were hoping for at least 20 attendees, which seemed unreachable at the time, but we had an overall turnout of 28 girls and 12 chaperons,” Sandell said. “Premiere events tend to be a ‘flop,’ so we had more people enroll than we expected, and we were happy with the turnout.”

    The Mission
    With the event past, Sandell hopes that the “A Day for B.E.A.U.T.Y.” event was a positive experience that allowed the girls in attendance to understand real beauty, wellness, individuality, education and respect.

    “We hope the girls will embrace their unique selves and realize the real things that make them beautiful, like their intelligence, ability to think for themselves, individuality, etcetera,” Sandell said.

    It is currently planned that the College Women Role Models of Eau Claire will host the event again next year. Sandell hopes CWRM will also be able to organize other outreach efforts that will have a focus on teaching girls how to overcome the unique obstacles they face.

    “The mission of this organization and event is wonderful,” Pattee said. Sandell, along with Michaels, Jacobs and Geheran, wanted to be role models and to serve and teach young girls about healthy things and to counter how the country views beauty – which is based on looks, she added.

    “These women want to teach girls about the true definition of beauty,” Pattee said.

    Leave a Comment
    More to Discover

    Comments (0)

    The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
    All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Activate Search
    Defining B.E.A.U.T.Y.