Your post in The Daily Illini in April was a great insight into how food culture negatively affects students in Greek life. We know that a college campus alone is a trigger setting for comparing yourself and your body, and being in a sorority can exaggerate even more. Research shows that eating disorders are not uncommon on college campuses and we recognize the need to address them. Thank you for writing this article and for raising awareness about this important topic.
I would like to share some resources that UIUC students have access to on campus:
The dietitian at McKinley Health Center, in the health education unit, oversees nutrition programs that focus on educating students about unhealthy relationships with food and their bodies. Peer-led workshops can start conversations to cultivate change in a setting that promotes food culture. We have been very successful in leading these discussions in sororities to which we have been invited in the past.
Workshops can be requested on the McKinley website. We hope to increase our resources and collaborative efforts within Greek life. In addition to the resources shared in our outreach programs, students can schedule one-on-one sessions with a McKinley dietitian by calling the Health Education Unit at 217-333-2714.
McKinley and the Counseling Center work together as an eating disorder treatment team of therapists, dietitians, and physicians to provide students with eating disorders with a more comprehensive, interdisciplinary team of care.
The counseling center offers a number of clinical services, including emergency room assessments, short-term individual counselling, an eating disorder and body image treatment group, and a semi- structure based on skills. The Counseling Center is also active in delivering workshops and outreach to raise awareness about body image and eating disorders and will be offering the EVERYbody Project workshop starting this fall.
For more information, you can go to counselingcenter.illinois.edu or call for more information at 217-333-3704.
Thank you so much for bringing awareness to a subject that we are so passionate about helping.