Students demolished weighing scales with sledgehammers in the Student Activities Center Plaza on Friday, Feb. 26.

The National Residence Hall Honorary, or NRHH, put on the event Scale Smash for Body Positivity in recognition of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Students of all shapes and sizes were encouraged to join in. 

“Events like this bring visibility to a community that people might not otherwise have known existed,” Margaret Livingston, a junior biology major and the vice president of NRHH, said. “Everyone has some type of insecurity related to their body. This event just brings to light that you do not need to define yourself by a number on a scale.”

Livingston has a personal connection to this cause because she is currently in recovery from an eating disorder. She got the inspiration for the event in August when she was scrolling through social media and came across a photo of a scale smash from Project HEAL, a nonprofit organization for eating disorder recovery. This event was the first of its kind for Stony Brook University and the first large-scale event the current NRHH executive board has planned.

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“The hardest part about planning it was logistically making sure the university would allow us to smash scales with sledgehammers in public,” Marissa Cardinal, a junior health science major and president of NRHH, said.

All braced the brisk winds that day that fought the security of the safety tarp, turned ears red and sent flyers into flight. One passing student ran to help catch a swarm of flyers and returned with ignited curiosity. With little convincing, he wanted to be next in line to wield a sledgehammer.

“I released all my stress and at the same time did something good for the community,” Sonam Tharkay, a sophomore technological systems management major, said afterwards.

“I’ve never swung a sledgehammer before,” Victor Wu, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering, said. “Everyone should definitely try this.”

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Inside the SAC, participants enjoyed free hot chocolate and contribute to a wall of positivity, filled with open messages of self-acceptance.

“Any form of how people feel about themselves has to do with how the community represents it,” Cardinal said. “We’re hoping this will spark more conversation about body positivity on campus.”

NRHH plans to have this event again, if not next semester, then next year. A grand total of fifteen scales were harmed in the making of this program. 

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: DEBORA CARTAGENA

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