A pool party for every-body at the Institute

Attendees blissfully float in the CRC’s leisure pool. The event emphasized promoting health and body positivity for students. // Photo by Tyler Parker Student Publications

The Wellness Empowerment Center, Women’s Resource Center (WRC) and LGBTQIA Resource Center hosted the 2nd annual Every-Body Pool Party this past Friday at the Campus Recreation Center (CRC) Leisure Pool. It served as a kickoff event for the organizations’  mission “to create a culture where positive body image, consistent eating and self-care are the expected norms at Georgia Tech.”

The Technique reached out to Carli Barbo, a registered dietitian with the Wellness Empowerment Center, to discuss how the event was planned and executed.

“It really just came from a partnership with the Wellness Empowerment Center (WEC), the Women’s Resource Center and the LGBTQIA Resource Center. We really wanted to have an event where people felt comfortable, could use the pool with some of their friends, get goodies and all of that so it kind of blew in from that idea,” said Barbo.

At the event, attendees enjoyed a lively and relaxing environment after the first week of classes.

“It is super exciting and filled with energy. Everyone’s come here to have a day off on a super sunny day, so I think I’m quite enjoying it. Plus everyone is super comfortable with one another, so I think it’s a great event to meet and interact with new people,” said Maulishri Bhandari, MS CS.

In addition, the event allowed guests to take a break and cool down from the continuous hot weather.

“The vibes are great. I would give anything to get a change of clothes so that I can jump in the pool and play with them. This is the perfect environment for such a hot day outside,” said Vriksha Srihari, MS ROBO. 

Bhandari especially enjoyed the playful environment created by the staff and activities including a photo booth, water slide and a wide variety of snacks and free swag for attendees.

“My favorite part has been the [water] slide and the unicorn floaty. I also love the staff. They are super exciting and enthusiastic, trying to get everyone involved. So it is a pretty good event overall,” Bhandari said. 

David Torello, Senior Academic Professional in the school of Mechanical Engineering, was also present at the event, interacting with students by the pool.

“I like to attend student events because sometimes it’s nice to see faculty there and also free stuff never hurts, right? But really, it’s just trying to be a part of the community. I specifically love the Wellness Center initiatives, and the LGBTQIA Center does an amazing job with their events,” said Torello.

With the pool party’s emphasis on promoting body positivity, guests expressed feeling safe and accepted while they enjoyed the facilities.

“I’m personally a plus-sized person myself. I often don’t feel very comfortable in my own skin, and I feel conscious about how others view me. So it’s really nice to see an inclusive event where everybody can participate and be themselves without having the fear of being judged by others for who we are,” Srihari said. 

According to an article published in Forbes Magazine on the body positivity movement, body positivity is not just limited to one body type, and it is important to acknowledge all body types when encouraging discussion on topics like positive self-image.

“Body positivity is very important for all kinds of bodies. Even though I look very petite, I have people who have judged me for being this way. They think that I can’t do certain things, but coming here, seeing all kinds of people, I feel included,” said Nikitha Tamraparni, MS ECE. 

Along with body positivity and self-image, the event also advocated for overall wellness among Tech students.

“Obviously, Tech is full of a lot of high achievers that often put their schoolwork first. So within our department, we work really hard to support a student’s whole wellness and as a dietitian, part of that is obviously food, but then also movement. So this kind of starts to hit a lot of those marks of the eight dimensions of wellness, whether it’s the social, environmental or physical,” Barbo said.

In line with the event’s theme of fitness and well-being, Barbo provided a few tips to help students stay fit throughout the year.

“So movement is important, eating our fruits and vegetables is important, but also just eating every three to four hours. Honestly, no matter what it is, that can be more important than some of those other things,” Barbo said. 

Similarly, Torello left students with an important message on prioritizing their health and taking care of themselves.

“Please sleep and make time for things that you enjoy doing. This school will take up as much time as you give it. It’s a black hole in which you can throw all of your effort and resources and eventually, you will see those rewards but in the short term, you need to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to stay healthy,” Torello said.