Students stretched their limbs on Sunday during a relaxing yoga session with Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger.
More than 50 people joined Stenger in the Appalachian Collegiate Center to meet him and other Binghamton University “VIPs” like Ann Merriwether from the human development and psychology departments, John Frazier from the geography department, Morgan Appel from the Dean of Students’ office and Mohammad Bishawi from the Career Development Center.
The event, run by Mountainview College resident assistants Shira Gelfand and Sabrena Myers and Dickinson Community RA Anneth Delgado, aimed to help students network with faculty in a more casual setting. The RAs hoped to show how accessible and friendly Binghamton faculty can be.
“We came up with yoga because Sabrena [Myers] originally asked President Stenger if he would do belly dancing and he wanted something a bit more modest,” said Gelfand, a junior majoring in English. “Yoga was perfect because anyone can do it at any level. Also, It totally breaks the ice when you all look like fools wobbling on tree pose.”
Ricky Sosulski, a Campus Recreation instructor, led the 30-minute yoga session. Delgado, a junior majoring in biological anthropology, said that although they only did yoga for half of the event, everyone felt relaxed afterward.
“Many people do not find the time in their schedules to go to the gym to work out but doing yoga is just as beneficial,” Delgado said. “We can practice yoga anywhere — right now while sitting, one can focus on breathing.”
After the yoga session, the students were given a chance to talk to the professors about possible classes for the upcoming semester. Donald Glauber, a professor in the health and wellness department, even advertised a freshmen-only section of yoga.
“I was extremely thrilled with how the event turned out,” Gelfand said. “President Stenger was really friendly, and after the yoga session, I noticed that so many students felt comfortable going up to him and talking. Doing yoga really breaks the ice.”
Gelfand said she was pleasantly surprised to see students and professors standing side-by-side
“I had expected that the professors would all group together in the corner,” Gelfand said. “But everyone mixed up and really got into it. Not only that, but all the professors there were very easy to talk to and all of them participated in the class!”
Delgado said she believed the event was a huge success.
“It was a moment of relaxation for everyone and a perfect way to end the week,” Delgado said.