Vigil combats ignorance of eating disorders

To promote awareness of eating disorders, Delta Phi Epsilon gathered on the steps of Green Hall last Saturday, April 12, to hold a vigil.

One of the sorority’s philanthropies is ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders) and the theme of the second annual vigil was “accept yourself, accept others.”

Kelly Lesch, junior math secondary education major, organized the vigil.

“The purpose of this event is to promote awareness about eating disorders, remember those affected by eating disorders and celebrate those who have overcome the battle of an eating disorder,” Lesch said.

Although the Bod Squad normally handles promotion of eating disorder awareness, Lesch said that Delta Phi Epsilon has had a history of supporting ANAD and held the same vigil last year.

Although some members of the Bod Squad helped, the sorority hoped to involve more people from different groups in the future.

Saturday was chosen as the date, despite the weather, because ANAD held similar vigils across the nation on the same day.

About 50 sisters gathered in front of the clock tower for about a half hour. They gave out purple ribbons to promote awareness for a dollar donation.

The sorority hoped that the community environment would foster a more positive body image, not only for their members, but for all women who may be susceptible to eating disorders.

Carol Kriegner, junior international business major and president of Delta Phi Epsilon, spoke about ANAD at the beginning of the vigil. ANAD was founded in 1976 and has been dedicated to helping the victims of eating disorders ever since.

“They have been actively working, having support groups, sponsoring hotlines and distributing information in pamphlets to schools across the nation,” Kriegner said.

The sorority believes that, while recent campus activities have made great strides in promoting awareness about eating disorders, there is much work to be done.

“We need a vigil and other activities to raise awareness about eating disorders, because, although people may know they exist, they don’t know much beyond that,” DiGioia-Laird, junior women’s and genderstudies and art education major, said. “Eating disorders are a very personal issue, so many people who are sick or know someone who is, are afraid to talk about it. But even though it’s painful, it’s a serious matter that affects everyone and must be addressed.”