Week of Welcome sparks insight on fire safety

Adrian Suarez Avila / Staff Writer

Living on campus his freshman year, Gordon Kingston was tired of being woken up by fire drills.

“They would have fire drills at three in the morning,” said Kingston, a senior history major. “If they [had information sessions on fire safety] and didn’t wake us up in the morning, that would have been nice.”

In an effort to inform students about important issues, the Student Government Council  at Modesto Maidique Campus will be hosting an event tailored to address both fire safety and nutrition on campus as part of the Week of Welcome series.

A map of the Modesto Maidique Campus.

“We are doing a whole ‘declassified’ section, as you’ll see throughout the year,” said SGC-MMC deputy chief of staff, Victoria Junkins. “We’ll be pin-pointing things that we think students need to know since [some] are by themselves for the first time.”

University Safety Officer Wilfredo Alvarez will be one of various presenters at the event, highlighting dos and don’ts of fire safety, and conducting a demonstration for a fire prevention system that has been installed recently in all cooking units of residence halls carrying stovetops.

According to Alvarez, last year the University experienced three fire incidents: two in Parkview and one in University Apartments, as previously reported.

The new fire-extinguishing device will attach to the underside of the vent hood above a stove. In the case that a fire is produced, a fuse will be triggered, releasing a powder that will terminate the flames.

“If a student is distracted while cooking a meal, then a fire may be produced,” said Alvarez. “This new device keeps the damage down to a minimum.”

The Week of Welcome info session will also include a segment on nutrition.

Sahar Ajabshir, a graduate senator and PhD student in dietetics and nutrition, along with Christine Tellez, registered dietician for Student Health Services, will offer nutrition advice to students and answer questions.

Tellez will be offering ten tips for students to avoid the “freshman 15;” the term refers to the weight gain new students often experience. Among these tips are reminders to not avoid carbohydrates and eat in moderation.

Although keeping weight off is a concern, finding something to eat is just as important to some students.

“The options at Fresh Foods [are] not that great,” said Kingston. “The other restaurants have healthier stuff, but they [are] more expensive.”

Ajabshir has something to say about it.

Her portion will cover, among other topics, reading nutrition labels, shopping smart in supermarkets, emotional eating, and the importance of physical activity.

“[In all restaurants] they have healthier options,” said Ajabshir. “When you go to Subway, instead of adding a lot of meat, you can add vegetables to your sandwich.”

Ajabshir will also be providing a demo on how to use Choosemyplate.gov, an online tool that helps individuals track their eating habits and find information on their dietary needs.

“My eating habits were horrible,” Ajabshir said. “I am a very good example of a person who modified her diet with time. And if I could do it, anybody can do it.”

A map of the Modesto Maidique Campus. Photos courtesy of Adrian Suarez Avila / FIUSM

Student organizations, such as the Association of Graduate Students of Dietetics and Nutrition and the Student Dietetics Association will be tabling to answer questions and distribute materials on nutrition education.

SGA, the Residence Hall Association, Radiate FM, Student Health Services, and others, will also be present to provide information.

“There are so many resources available that students don’t know about,” said Junkins. “We want students to gain more knowledge.”

The event, which will be open to all registered University students free of charge, will take place Thursday, Aug. 28, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the MMC housing quad.

Robeks Juice will be on-site to hand out smoothies and half wraps to those in attendance. Beach mats will be given to the first 300 students to rest on.

In case of rain, the event will be moved to the Everglades lounge.


About the Author

Camila Fernandez
A FIU School of Journalism and Mass Communications Student - Began working with Student Media in 2013.

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