For the last seven years, Seattle University’s UREC has hosted a body positivity and self-care campaign. With COVID-19 restrictions currently in place, Project Positive made changes to their 2021 campaign. As a signature annual event for UREC, Project Positive is typically held around the last few days of February. This year, the event took place Feb. 22 through Feb. 27.
Project Positive has an associated theme, with the current theme being ‘Cultivate Connection.’ Second-year environmental studies and public affairs double major Zak Smith works at UREC and participated in the project. He elaborated on how the ‘Cultivate Connection’ theme was important given the pandemic.
“The theme ‘Cultivate Connection’ is very relevant now that most people have lost key places for connecting, so we are focused on helping the Seattle U community recognize and manifest the things that make them feel connected—be it to oneself, the community, nature and passions,” Smith said. “We hope to inspire people to identify the persons, places and things that make them feel the most like themselves.”
While some of the events took place over Zoom, others were for students to complete on their own and then share with others. Many of the events occur annually, like Yoga for EveryBODY. In past years when the event occurred in person, UREC employees decorated the facilities with positive messages or questions provoking self-reflection. They decorated with blue streamers and notes, but most of the community was unable to see it.
Due to an emphasis on the virtual world, UREC promoted the campaign on social media and through email. Fourth-year business analytics and finance double major Sydney Mead shared how impactful she felt the social media campaign was.
“Given the circumstances, UREC did a great job trying to maintain the message of the campaign. This year, I think the connection came more from the social media campaign and the outreach. They did testimonials and takeovers, which led to an impressive campaign this year,” Mead said.
Another event for the campaign, ‘5K Your Way,’ allowed students to complete a 5K in any way they could. After completing the 3.1 miles at any point during the week, students shared a photo with UREC to show their completion. There were also group fitness classes available at any point during the week for students who could not make the live sessions. These sessions are still available for the Seattle U community to access at any time.
The ‘Yoga for EveryBODY’ event was one of the more popular events, as over 30 students participated. After the yoga class ended, students could join the Zoom for ‘Inclusion in the Outdoors.’ This event dismissed the portrayal that outdoor sports are high intensity, instead discussing how outdoor recreation can exist for everyone.
The last live event of the week was Intramural Trivia Feb. 25. The themes of the trivia revolved around the main focus of Project Positive––self-care, body positivity and outdoor community.
UREC leaders implemented the theme into events throughout the week. Assistant Director of UREC, Marketing and Events Christin Everson elaborated on how UREC shares its theme with participants.
“We weave self-reflection and self-appreciation into all of our programs and events, seeking to provide care, validation and connection with and for our participants,” Everson shared in a written statement. “We wanted this year’s campaign to truly support the needs of our students, so we focused more on Cultivating Connection to yourself, joy, community and nature.”
Now that Project Positive has ended, community members are encouraged to visit UREC’s Instagram account @su_rec to see how Seattle U students engaged with the campaign. Students, faculty and staff can participate in various activities UREC offers that include reserving spots in the RAC or attending Open Recreation at Seattle U Park and/or the RAC.