CSUN’s JADE to celebrate eating disorder awareness week

Irene Nesbitt

Joint Advocates On Disordered Eating (JADE), will present Celebrate Every BODY for eating disorder awareness week, the event will take place from Feb. 27 through March 2.

Veronica Stotts, coordinator of JADE and staff psychologist of University Counseling Services said the Celebrate Every BODY event teaches students to stop harming themselves with negative self-talk and fad diets.

“Appreciate your body and all the things it does for you,”  Stotts said. “Nourish it with good food and the right amount of exercise. Recognize that the media and the beauty industry profit from making you feel bad about yourself.”

JADE educates the CSUN community on eating disorders, disordered eating and how to critically analyze media images, and what they are trying to say to you, Stotts said.

Deirdre Weaver, a graduate student and co-coordinator assistant of JADE who mentors the peer educators, said Celebrate Every BODY week will teach students to focus on inner beauty and not outward appearance.

“We want students to understand that pictures in magazines are computer-generated, and these images are not feasible and not real,” Weaver said. “We have to recognize and critique what these pictures are saying to us and let the corporations know it’s not okay to do this.”

Karen Alfaro, student peer educator of JADE, said that students are also taught how the media influences society.

“We will teach students how to be media literate so they will learn how media influences people in different ways,” Alfaro said. “Students will learn how to help a friend or family member who has an eating disorder.”

JADE is a nonprofit organization on CSUN, sponsored by the University Counseling Services and funded from Associate Students.  It was founded 17 years ago by Ellen Mayer, a former staff counselor of the USU, who saw a need to raise awareness on eating disorders.

Stotts said JADE reaches thousands of CSUN students through presentations and outreached events yearly.

“(Mayer’s) passion and vision has turned JADE into the successful and respected program it is today,” Stotts said. “JADE was one of the first programs of its type on college campuses across the country, and it has actually been used as a model for other universities.”

Throughout the week, students will be able to participate in lectures, games and various activities.