The purpose of the “Free Hugs” signs around campus


Photo submitted by President Alexa Jacob

Members of the peer educators attending one of Ashland’s football games.

Jordann Lopata, SPORTS EDITOR

Ever wonder who stands outside every Friday with signs that say “free hugs?” This is Ashland University’s AU Wellness group and peer educators working to create a healthy environment on campus, and brightening people’s days by ending your long and stressful week with a simple hug.

AU wellness is spreading awareness and providing options and events for students, faculty and staff at AU to promote wellness not only on campus, but in the community as well. The peer educators follow seven dimensions of wellness, which are: intellectual, emotional, physical, social, environmental, occupational and spiritual.

President Alexa Jacob talks about the main goal of the organization, “our main goal is just to help people and try to create the most healthy campus as possible.”

Jacob, a dietetics major, joined AU Wellness because it is something that she is passionate about. She thought it would be a great idea to get involved her freshman year because she wanted to be involved on campus, and in her major.

“I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to help my own leadership skills, and also provide for other people as well,” she said.

Being a peer educator is very important with AU wellness, they strive to help their peers in anyway possible. They view themselves as a great resource that anyone can go to and learn more about wellness, and how to live a healthy lifestyle.

AU wellness is looking for more people to join who are passionate about health and wellness. Anyone who applies can look forward to a close-knit group of people, who all have different backgrounds, and bring different ideas to the organization.

“We really want more people to join,” Jacob said. “We want people to create more ideas for the organization.”

Being involved with the peer educators, can also boost a resume.

AU wellness was responsible for the CPR mobile tour back in October, and they are also looking forward to other events coming up to get their name out there. They are working on a T-shirt toss at the next men’s basketball game, as well as hosting a gratitude table at nest, as they are focusing on the spiritual dimension of wellness.

They also will be advertising soon for a program upcoming next semester called, “The Move Your Way program,” which will promote being active on and around campus.