Cultural Appropriation [AND] Halloween

Cultural Appropriation [AND] Halloween

October 31st is right around the corner, read these tips on how to avoid disaster this Halloween!

What is cultural appropriation?

Cultural appropriation is when individuals adopt the features of another culture that is not their own. It is sometimes portrayed as being harmful to the culture that is being appropriated. This is because the culture that is being appropriated is often misrepresented, and appropriation can lead to stereotypes being reinforced instead of shut down.

How does cultural appropriation relate to Halloween?

When people are searching for what Halloween costumes to wear, it can be tempting to dress up as something that relates to a culture that is not their own. Some examples of these costumes are “Native American Princess” or “Poncho-wearing Mexican”. The main issue although often unintended behind these costumes is that they turn someone’s actual culture and values into a costume, or something to be made fun of. Also, a culture’s history and traditions can get lost. Even if it is unintended it is incredibly insensitive to do this, and your costume will most definitely offend others.

How do I know if my costume is appropriating someone’s culture?
If your costume is based solely on race, ethnicity or a culture other than your own, then it is appropriation. If you are dressing up as someone else’s culture because you think it’s funny, then it is appropriation. In general, if you are seriously questioning if you are appropriating another culture with your costume, then you probably are!

So what costumes can I wear?

There are so many costume options out there that are fun to wear, and won’t misrepresent cultures. There are plenty of costumes based off of movies or TV shows, pop culture, and so much more!

101 Dalmatian’s! Clue!


For more information on what to or not to wear go to:
Cambridge Dictionary, (2017). Definition of “cultural appropriation”.

Retrieved from:




Welcome Christy!

Meet our newest Health Educator, Christy!Christy Prust, Student Health Services.

Christy Prust is one of the health educators on campus. She is a part of Student Health Service and works out of the Office of Health Promotion. Christy is from Green Bay WI and earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Human Development from the University of WI-Green Bay in 2004 and earned her Master of Public Health in Community Health Education from the University of WI-La Crosse in 2017. She started working at UWEC in Student Health Service in May 2017. Outside of work she enjoys cooking, DIY crafting, reading, spending time with family and friends and being a mom to her cat Clea. An interesting fact about Christy is that both of her pinkie fingers are crooked. Christy’s favorite healthy snack is apple slices with sharp cheddar cheese. Her favorite way to exercise is biking and if she where a crayon color she would be mango tango.



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Meet a New SWAT Member!

Meet Cassidy!

Cassidy is a Sophomore Psychology major from Waterloo, Wisconsin. Her favorite healthy snack is an apple with peanut butter, and her favorite way to work out is playing volleyball. An interesting fact about Cassidy is that she was born in Alaska. If she was a crayon she would be mango tango.cassidy

What is SWAT?
The Student Wellness Advocacy Team (SWAT) is a group of students educating students on a wide variety of health and wellness topics. Some of the programs we offer include information about alcohol safety, sexual health, and stress management. Many of the programs are very flexible, so we can change it to match exactly what your group is looking for. We try to make everything fun and interactive while still keeping the information educational and relevant.

How did you learn about the job opportunity?

Near the end of the spring semester I was looking at the job board and saw the posting, and I was immediately interested. The position seemed like it would be a good segway into working in the health care field, which I hope to enter after graduation. I applied and was ecstatic when I got the job!

What made you want to be a part of the SWAT Team?

I am very passionate about educating people about health and wellness topics, and it is something that I want to continue to do after college. I thought that being a part of SWAT as a Peer Health Educator would be a perfect way to enter the field that I am passionate about, all while being on a team with other students who feel similarly. It just seemed like a great opportunity, and I’m glad that I have the chance to participate.

What does SWAT do?

SWAT facilitates many of the programs that you might see advertised in the dorms such as Condom Bingo, Sexual Health Jeopardy, and Balanced Life. We also lead the alcohol classes (PHD and Choices) for when students violate dorm policies. You may also see us tabling outside of Davies or Centennial just to spread the word about SWAT and give out freebies!

What are the hours like?

Every week, we have an hour-long team meeting, and a two-hour office hour. Other than those three hours weekly, it varies depending on how many programs there are that week. That’s one of the great things about this job, it is so flexible. If you have a busy week you can pass on teaching programs, or you can do more on a week when you’re free.

What is the work environment like?

The environment in the office is so welcoming and accepting. I always feel comfortable offering up new ideas or sharing my thoughts on how we can improve certain programs. I look forward to coming to work because I always am learning something new and having a good time with my coworkers.

What is your favorite part about the SWAT team?

My favorite part is all of the great people that I work with. It’s great that I am always able to learn something new when I come to work, and I feel like we are making a positive impact on the campus atmosphere here at UWEC.

Welcome aboard Cassidy! cropped-cropped-cropped-swateam1clr.jpg


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Meet a New SWAT Member!



Meet Hannah!


Hannah Van Steenburgh is a Sophomore from Manitowoc, Wisconsin studying microbiology with a minor in pre-professional health science, in hopes of one day becoming a doctor. Hannah is the new nutrition lead and is also interested in sexual health. Her favorite Healthy Snack is any type of fresh fruit, especially strawberries and apples. Hannah stays very active teaching group exercise classes on campus and also enjoys running, biking and waterskiing. If she were a crayon she would be the color Sunset Orange and an interesting fact about Hannah is that last summer she got to shadow a surgeon and helped perform 6 surgeries.




Welcome Hannah! We look forward to working with you!


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Meet a New SWAT Member!

Meet Morgan!morgan.png


Morgan is a freshman from Ashland, Wisconsin studying Nursing. Her favorite healthy snack is a pomegranate, and her favorite way to exercise is downhill skiing! If Morgan were a crayon she would be a royal purple crayon. Interesting facts about her is she has visited New Orleans and played the Viola for six years!

How did you learn about the job opportunity?

I learned about the job in my women’s studies class. My teacher explained how this was a super awesome job about health education, and explained that if we were going into the health field we might really enjoy this on campus job! Right after class I typed in SWAT on the UWEC webpage and read about the job, applied that night, and here we are today! What made you want to be a part of the SWAT Team? I have always enjoyed the healthcare field. I have known I wanted to be a nurse for a long time, and my friends seem to think that because I want to be a nurse, I automatically am a nurse. This resulted in my friends bringing certain health problems to me, and causing me to self-educate myself using medical websites just to answer them. This allowed me to realize I loved educating and promoting healthy decisions and this is exactly what the SWAT team does.
What does the SWAT team do?

The SWAT team promotes health and wellness through on campus events. The most common programs of the SWAT team are condom bingo, which is education on sexual health while also playing a fun and interesting game! We also have classes called Choices or Promoting Healthy Decisions, which are classes for those who break the alcohol policy in the dorms called the J Code. We don’t just do classes, you can see the SWAT team around campus playing fun games for prizes to promote a healthy lifestyle as well!

What are the hours like?

The absolute best part about the SWAT team is the extreme flexibility of your work hours. You are only responsible for the weekly meeting and two office hours during the week. Programs that are requested are scattered throughout the week and you only have to take on the programs that work for you.
What is the work environment like?

Being the newest member can come with some anxiety. Personally, I didn’t know anybody from the SWAT team before I joined, but the first staff meeting we had put all my anxiousness at ease. Everybody is so amazing, kind, and willing to help with any newbie questions I might have and
know we will all have lots of fun! We deal with some serious issues as a SWAT team as well and we are all able to act professional when it is appropriate.

What is your favorite part about being a part of the SWAT Team?

My favorite part about SWAT is the ability to interact with all sorts of people and increase my knowledge in the health field as I continue to be a SWAT member!





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Meet a SWAT Member



Meet Callie!callie


Callie is a sophomore nursing major from Barron, Wisconsin. She is enjoying learning about all the different programs SWAT has. Her favorite healthy snack is apple slices and peanut butter and her favorite way to exercise is doing yoga. If Callie were a crayon she would be razzmatazz. An interesting fact about her is that she went to state for vocal solo’s in solo and ensemble all four years of high school.
What is S.W.A.T?

The Student Wellness Advocacy Team (SWAT) is a group of peer health educators who educate the campus on health and wellness topics such as stress management, sexual health, nutrition, and more. We are interactive, fun, and can tailor our materials to your group’s needs. We also do health advocacy work on campus in an effort to make UWEau Claire’s campus a healthier place for learning and living.
How did you learn about the job opportunity? I got an email from the student nursing advisor that there were job openings for the SWAT team and the job description looked like something good for nursing students. So I looked into it and it sounded like something I would enjoy doing

What made you want to be apart if the SWAT Team?cropped-cropped-swateam1clr.jpg

I wanted to be a part of SWAT team because I think that education on health topics is super important especially as a health care provider. Since I am going into nursing I know that a large part of nursing is patient education. This job is helping me develop skills that I will be using in the future. I also wanted to be more involved on campus and promoting health and education sounded like a good fit for me!
What does the SWAT team even do? One of our most popular programs requested in dorms in condom bingo. We teach other programs as well such as making healthy decisions, nutrition, sexual health, and tons more. We also teach alcohol classes for students who violate judicial code in the dorms. We also have a relaxation station set up in the library during finals week with coloring pages, stress balls, and healthy snacks.

What are the hours like?

The hours vary depending on the week on what programs are going on. You have two scheduled office hours a week and a weekly hour long meeting that works with your class schedule. You can choose to work more during the week by picking up programs to teach, so your schedule is super flexible.

What is the work environment like?

I love the work environment because everyone is very inclusive and works together as a team which is awesome. The other team members are great and very understanding. They are also very knowledgeable and come up with many creative ideas! What is your favorite part about being a part of the SWAT Team? My favorite part about being in SWAT is the work environment and being able to educate about health topics around campus and make a difference to make UW Eau Claire healthier!

Helpful Tips When It Comes to Asking Your Parents About Going On Birth Control

Helpful Tips When It Comes to Asking Your Parents About Going On Birth Control

By: Hannah Van Steenburgh

Let’s be honest, there are very few people out there who find it comfortable to talk to their parents about sex, whether you haven’t even had it yet, are thinking about having it or have already, it never really becomes less awkward of a topic. Right next to talking about your sex life is discussing the kind of contraception you’re using or maybe what you would like to be using (i.e. starting the pill or the shot, etc.). It’s easy to fret over how to ask your mom (or dad) about birth control, or spend months waiting for “the right moment” to bring it up because you fear the message it might send your parents about the actual having sex aspect of birth control.awk

Using birth control is not something taboo, according to Planned Parenthood, 24% of all women are currently using some form of birth control and 98% of all women have used it at some point throughout their life. Remember, it’s your body and your future you’re protecting by making the decision to use birth control, it’s not always all about the sex. But have no fear, you can push your anxiety about “the talk” aside because we’ve come up with four alternative reasons why birth control is a great decision to help alleviate the potential elephant in the room when you finally do talk to someone about getting the kind of contraception you want and need.


  1. Birth Control has Many Other Benefits Aside from Preventing Pregnancy

One of the most common reasons to start taking birth control is to reduce pre-menstrual and menstrual symptoms. Many women suffer from severe cramping that can lead to vomiting as well as head and body aches that can be very uncomfortable but starting the pill greatly reduces those symptoms. Additionally, taking the pill is a super effective way to get rid of acne, prevent anemia, cyst formation in the breasts and ovaries and can help prevent ovarian and endometrial cancers. It doesn’t have to be about the sex, so when the conversation comes up you can easily make it about your overall health and wellbeing.


  1. Protecting Your Future

Weather you someday plan to be a business person, an artist, a doctor, the president or a parent, taking birth control can be a very big step toward achieving your goals. Working toward your goals takes a lot of focus and attention and an unwanted pregnancy can hinder that focus. Beginning to take birth control doesn’t have to mean you don’t want kids, it can mean that you just have other things you need to be focusing on at the moment like school, or your career, or maybe you are already taking care of fur babies. Whatever it is, it’s protecting achieving your goals from being disrupted by an unwanted pregnancy. In the end parenthood is much happier and easier when you have planned for it, you have the time, and financial means to provide your child with the best resources possible. Chances are your parents know this and experienced parenthood for themselves, so there’s a good chance this might help them understand.


  1. If You Know Cost is a Problem

You’re in luck! Currently under Obamacare’s Affordable Care Act, most insurance plans cover contraceptives and healthcare visits related to contraceptives completely, meaning they’re free for your use. Additionally, there are many government programs that make contraceptives affordable (if not free) for those in need and if you don’t know how to gain access to those programs having a talk with your doctor can help, if that isn’t available to you, there are organizations like Planned Parenthood that can also be very helpful. Worrying about how much the pill or the shot, etc. might cost your parents (or yourself) shouldn’t keep you from doing what’s best for you when there are numerous resources to help alleviate that issue.


What about when Obamacare ends?

While we can’t be sure what is going to happen to the healthcare situation with a new president in office we can always check the forecast as to what is likely to happen. Even though the Affordable Care Act will be ending soon there is still interest in the passing of amendments that will keep contraceptives low cost or free by those who helped pass Obamacare in the first place. Additionally, some states such as New York, California and Illinois are beginning to pass laws that will continue to provide birth control with no co-pay, if, and when Obamacare is repealed. Making your parents aware of this could make the whole process easier on everyone involved.


  1. There are resources available that don’t involve discussing it with your parental units

If you really don’t want to talk about it with your mom or dad, or whoever takes care of you and you are 18 or older, you can always just suggest you need a check-up or would like to see your doctor. Or you can call and make your own appointment and then talk privately with them, they are sworn to secrecy and cannot tell anyone what you discussed without getting your consent first. Also, don’t be afraid to use resources such as the nearest Planned Parenthood if you are under 18, aren’t comfortable seeing your doctor, or don’t have the access or funding to see one. Planned Parenthood is a really great resource that will keep your information confidential and can help you make decisions and find ways to know what type of birth control is the best fit for you and then be able to get it on your own without having to talk with someone you aren’t comfortable talking about sex or contraceptives with.


Another helpful resource on UWEC’s campus is the Forward Health Family Planning Program. This is a state funded program for both for women and men and is based upon only your individual situation. It does not require any information from or about your parents and most students are still eligible for its benefits even if you are covered by your parent’s insurance plan. If you apply to the program it can cover things like sexual health related tests and treatments as well as a whole array of different contraceptive and family planning methods. If you are considering this program more info is available at or through Student Health Services located in Crest Wellness Center on upper campus or call SHS at 715-836-5360.


Hopefully these tips have helped you and your situation, but it is also important to remember everyone’s situation is different and after all, you are still your parents’ child and it can be difficult for them to see you growing up. You know them best and you will be able to find a way to gain access to what you feel your body and future needs!


Other Helpful Resources: