As a student coordinator for Bryn Mawr’s Body Image Council alongside Emily George’ 21 and Iris Liu ‘ 19, it is my responsibility to strive towards making Bryn Mawr a more accepting campus towards all body types. On Thursday, 8/11, BIC collaborated with EnAble (the accessibility club on campus) to conduct a joint movie viewing of Margarita with a Straw – a heartwarming story of a girl suffering from cerebral palsy who makes her way to pursue higher studies in the United States. The movie tackles themes surrounding sexual orientation, disability, self-discovery and relationships between a mother and her daughter, lovers and friends. There was a brief discussion followed by the movie screening. We spoke of the different resources that are available to students on campus and also highlighted the various ways in which Bryn Mawr can strive to be a more accessible campus to its students. I started working towards a more positive Bryn Mawr experience for myself and for my peers when I became a peer leader for the Bryn Mawr Body Project. Now, as student coordinators of BIC, Emily, Iris and I work alongside the Health Centre and Student Athletics in hopes of making this college a more accepting and acknowledging place of various bodies. I personally liked Margarita with a Straw. Laila’s strength and resilience, in embracing life and its various intricacies left a mark on me and perhaps gave voice to my reason for being so actively involved with BIC.
Last Friday also marked the joint Eid/Diwali celebration hosted by the MSA, SAS and the DSA. Students all over campus gathered together to join us in celebration of our respective religious and cultural observances. It was a great night – a wide variety of Indian food catered from Tiffin Indian Cuisine was served, a lot of the South Asian students on campus dressed in their cultural clothes (either the salwar kameez or the sari), and we danced our hearts out to the blaring Bollywood music.
I have previously mentioned that I am taking a Social Epidemiology class at Haverford College. As part of our total grade, we were instructed to take the route 23 bus between 11th and Market Street from Center City to Chestnut Hill in order to observe the built environment around us. It was particularly interesting because as someone who is generally not particularly receptive to her surroundings, I started to view Philadelphia in a new light. We had to relate our observations to readings that drew a positive correlation between neighborhood conditions and health outcomes in communities. After soaking up ample material to talk about in our reports, by classmate and I walked around Chestnut Hill for a bit. It was a dainty town – with cobbled streets, fancy boutiques and an overall Bryn Mawr-esque vibe. We spent a good portion of our time on the way back talking about what we had seen around us and how we could relate them to the demographic characteristic that each place encompassed.
Today, I attended a volunteer reflection meeting for Holisticare Hospice. We talked about all the patients that we have been assigned and it felt great to sit back and reflect on our actions as volunteers for families that are experiencing the “end of life” experience.
As a very busy week ends and we are on our way to a new one, I am once again thankful for the place and the people that I continue to be surrounded by.