Thursday, March 31, 2016

Safe Zone Training at EIU

Created to address the concerns of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and ally community at Eastern Illinois University and the surrounding area, the Safe Zone Project is a way to reach out to these students and welcome them in all areas of the EIU community. Safe Zones are areas on and around campus where supportive people provide information and work toward the elimination of myths, misconceptions, and stereotypes.
Safe Zone Mission Statement
By participating in the Safe Zone Program, one pledges that his/her Safe Zone is a place where lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and allies can:
  • feel comfortable and safe in a confidential environment.
  • express any issues and concerns in an atmosphere of acceptance and support.
  • access informational and educational resources including: organizations, phone numbers, web sites, and books.
Phase 1 Training Safe Zone: Phase 1 training is open to any student, staff, or faculty member who is interested in becoming an ally for the LGBTQA+ community and learning more about LGBTQA+-related issues. Topics that will be addressed include: LGBTQA+ terminology, the coming out process, heterosexual privilege, facts and myths about the LGBTQ community, the Riddle Homophobia Scale, and ways to engage in quiet activism.

Phase 2 Training Safe Zone: Phase 2 training is a case study-based, application-focused session. Participants will gain the tools they need to not only provide resources, but to become an active participant in making EIU's campus a more supportive, inclusive, and affirming place for LBGTQA+ people. Completion of Phase 2 will result in becoming an identified Safe Zone Ally.       
Phase 3 Training Safe Zone: Phase 3, Transgender 101, gives participants a 101 session on terminology, microagression, privilege, and how to serve as better allies to transgender individuals and students.
If you have questions or would like more information regarding the programs and resources offered by the LGBTQA Resource Center, please call 217-581-7117 or e-mail
Information regarding Safe Zone Training at EIU from

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Relaxation & You: A More Relaxed Life

College is a stressful time. The combination of homework, tests, extracurricular activities, and maintaining a social life can be overwhelming. It’s important for both your mental and physical well being that you take some time out of your busy schedule to relax! So, what is relaxation exactly? It is defined as “a feeling of calm in body and mind.” Relaxation is a learned technique which can be used in stressful situations and everyday life to reduce tension and increase control.

Relaxation Tips

Relaxation can be diminished when there are too many “to do’s” running through your mind. Thinking about everything you still need to accomplish can cause pressure headaches, among other physical symptoms. To relieve these headaches, consider the following tips:

  1. Regular daily exercise
  2. Gentle stretching (especially neck and back)
  3. Write out your to-do list
  4. Get a massage
Also, sitting by yourself for a few moments and planning out your day ahead of time is another positive de-stressing activity to engage in. When your day is intimately planned out there are no surprises that can send your mind and body back into stress mode.

Staying Mentally & Emotionally Healthy

Staying mentally and emotionally healthy is both difficult and complex. By learning and practicing healthy behaviors, you have a better chance of increasing your mental and emotional health. Some positive behaviors include:

  • Proper rest
  • Maintain good nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Go outside for some fresh air
  • Limit alcohol, drug, and tobacco use

Keeping your body in shape helps your mental and emotional fitness, too! So, how do you ensure that your body is healthy? Consider the following suggestions:

  • Make leisure time a priority
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a proper diet
  • Limit alcohol, drug, and tobacco use
  • Go to the doctor for regular check-ups
The Power of Massage
Who doesn’t love getting a massage? Not only to they feel good physically, but they are also a powerful tool to help you relax. Some of the benefits of massages include:

  • Enhanced immunity
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced pain, stress, and anxiety
  • Greater energy
  • Alleviate physical pain
  • Improved concentration 

Massages are also beneficial as they reduce anxiety, alcohol and tobacco withdrawals, and increase the body’s natural pain killers. While a massage can be an excellent tool for relaxation and stress reduction, you should always check with your doctor before engaging in alternative or holistic medicine approaches.

Are you in need of a massage? Stop by the massage chairs in Bridge Lounge or the 24 Hour Lounge in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Union for a few minutes of relaxation. They are available to students and faculty and staff!


Many aspects of college life cause stress and can affect students both physically and mentally. College students experience a range of mild to severe consequences as a result of stress. Stress impacts everyone in a unique way and everyone deals with it differently.

In order to overcome your feelings of stress and to ensure your mental and physical health, as well as your academic well being, it is important to identify and overcome your stressors. Some common stressors are:

  • Tight deadlines or too many deadlines
  • Pressure from superiors
  • Lack of acknowledgement for good performance
  • Inability to work with colleagues
  • Oral presentations
  • Trouble managing priorities
  • Accountability for budgets
  • Long hours
  • Thinking about how much needs to be accomplished
  • Inability to adapt to change
  • Exhausting physical labor
  • Changes in work schedules
  • Balancing home/family/school and work priorities

For more information about relaxation and/or stress, please call the Health Education Resource Center at 217-581-7786, visit, or stop by the Booth House on 4th Street, located directly behind Jerry’s Pizza.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Safer Spring Break 2016

As a college student, spring break can provide opportunities to travel, make memories, and have a lot of fun. It is perfectly okay to go out and celebrate making it halfway through the spring semester, but doing so responsibly is important. We want you to enjoy your spring break, but we also want you to return to EIU safely and healthy!
Please take the safety tips below into consideration while on spring break:

Keep your drink with you at all times.

  • If you accidently wander away from your drink, simply throw it away and get a new one. Yes, drinks are expensive, but your life and well-being are priceless.
Do not wander away from your group.

  • Have an established plan and make sure everyone sticks together. This is important for your own safety, but also for the safety of your friends.You wouldn’t want to tell your friend’s parents that “she/he was trashed and we haven’t seen him/her in 2 days.”

Use the buddy system.

  • If you need to excuse yourself to use the restroom or go to the ATM, have someone accompany you.

If you encounter a problem situation, step up and do the right thing.  Report all suspicious activity to the authorities.

  • You could be the only thing stopping someone from being seriously injured or harmed. If you have a bad feeling about a situation, step in and take charge. If you do not feel comfortable stepping in call 911 or report information to an appropriate authority. However, you should dever assume that someone else is going to do something about it. Ask yourself “if that was me, would I want someone to step in.”

There’s an app for that?

Circle of 6  Circleof6 allows users to create a group (circle) of six contacts of their choice. If you lose track of your friends, are traveling alone, or want to alert someone that you are in a dangerous situation, this app will send a message with a map and GPS location of where you are to your circle and the local emergency units.

GuardlyGuardly provides real-time emergency incident monitoring and communication. It acts as an instant two-way communication with safety groups, local authorities and nearby security. One special feature that this student app offers is that it allows you to set up specific types of emergency situations such as allergy emergencies or traveling alone situations as well as accompanying contacts to be notified for each type of incident.

bSafe Bsafe is a mobile-based safety alarm. Upon downloading the app, a red button will appear on the phone screen. When the red button is pressed, a siren will go off, a video recording will start, and the emergency contacts that you chose (which can include 911), will be alerted with a message of your GPS location and the recorded video.

My Force MyForce acts as a personal safety service that connects you to a live security team that instantly starts communicating with you, recording and tracking your activity, and contacting local emergency services.
Remember: Your safety is the most important! Have a wonderful and safe spring break, Panthers!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

It's On Us at EIU!

By: Erin Marincic | Intern
EIU Student Government leads the efforts of the It's On Us Campaign at EIU!  We are proud to be a part of this nationally recognized campaign combating the issue of sexual violence on college campuses.
By taking the pledge you are making "a personal commitment to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault. It is a promise to not be a bystander to the problem, but to be a part of the solution." (It’s on Us, 2015) 
  1. Consent does not need to be given unless oral, anal, or vaginal sex is requested.
    False: Consent must be given for all types of sexual activity including oral, anal, and vaginal sex.
  2. The absence of a no does not mean a yes.
    True: Just because a person does not say no verbally does not mean their partner can continue in sexual activity.
  3. Being a bystander means helping someone in a risky situation.
    False: Being an ACTIVE bystander means helping someone in a risky situation (Remember telling someone- calling 911 or using a campus/community resource IS Stepping Up!
Support the Campaign
It’s On Us at EIU to step up to help end sexual violence. Below are a few ways you can help support this campaign and survivors of sexual violence.
  • Take the pledge by going to
  • Continue to support and spread the word by attending Bystander Intervention trainings to gain the skills and knowledge to Step Up!
  • Check out the MLK Union bookstore to purchase an It’s On Us t-shirt for under $10 with tax!
What is Consent?
As a reminder, below are five ways to outline consent according to EIU Student Conduct Code:
  1. Consent is a freely given, clear, unambiguous agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity.
  2. Lack of verbal or physical resistance or submission by a person resulting from the use of force or threat of force by another person shall not constitute consent.
  3. Consent is deemed incapable of being given if the person's physical and/or mental control is markedly diminished as the result of alcohol, other drugs, illness, injury, or any other reason.
  4. Consent must be given each time the participants engage in sexual activity.
  5. Consent given on a prior occasion does not indicate future consent, and consent may be revoked at any time.
Lastly, click the following link to watch the EIU It’s On Us video. Please feel free to share on all forms of social media!