Fox students help peers destress

Three Fox School of Business students created an organization to teach their peers about stress management.

Matthew DiStasio (left), a junior accounting major and Nasir Mack (right), a junior business management and media studies and production double major stand inside Alter Hall on Sept. 4, 2019. Mack and DiStasio are two founders of the Fox For Balance organization, aimed at helping students find healthy ways to de-stress. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

While serving on Fox’s dean’s student advisory council last year, Morgan King, Matt Distasio and Nasir Mack recognized their shared concerns for the mental health and stress levels of their peers.

“As a college student, you get hit with a bunch of things but as a business student it’s definitely ten times more,” said Mack, a junior business management and media studies and production major. 

King, alongside Distasio and Mack, started Fox For Balance, an organization geared toward helping Fox students destress. They want to discuss stress management, connect with peers to share de-stressing tips and take part in an upperclassmen-lowerclassmen mentorship program. 

King, a junior human resources major, said Fox students face extra challenges that add to their stress, like difficulty scheduling advising appointments, maintaining multiple extracurricular activities and getting Fox Leadership Development Points, a program that requires students to attend student professional development sessions.

“That’s why, kind of, Fox students are often so stressed,” she said. “It’s not just their classes, they have a thousand extracurricular activities.” 

King added that the business school has a high stakes and competitive energy.

“There is this need to be different and to excel in all capacities and to constantly have this drive,” she said.

Fox For Balance aims to provide group discussions and one-on-one conversations for newer students led by upperclassmen.

The organization wants to prepare students for the challenges of post-college job cultures by providing methods on how to lead a healthy life. They plan to give tips on how to meal prep for the week, host yoga sessions and feature guest speakers from local businesses. 

Josh Clifford, a junior global studies and accounting major, said that healthy living is not his main priority as a student. 

“For me personally, balancing the heavy workload and extra requirements, along with having two minors doesn’t leave much room for self-care” he added. Clifford also has a minor in psychology and Spanish.

Distasio, a junior accounting major, said he wants students in Fox For Balance to be familiar with Temple’s in-campus resources, like Tuttleman Counseling Services, Disability Resource Services and the Wellness Resource Center.

James Dietz, the enrollment coordinator at the Center for Undergraduate Advising and Fox For Balances’ adviser, said he believes the business students are here to uplift each other, and aims to foster a community that empowers their peers.

Dietz said he disagrees that Fox has a competitive nature.

“I know people have this idea that the business community is competitive and cutthroat, but I don’t get that here at the business school,” he said.

Dietz said it was nice to see an organization that prioritizes mental health care but is still business-focused. 

“We’re bringing students together. We’re not here to edge each other out of internships or jobs,” he added.

Fox For Balance is taking leadership role applications. Once designated, these leaders will run meetings, Dietz said. The three founders will serve on the organization’s executive board.

Mack said he admires that business students can still work together collaboratively, despite the stress of the business community. 

“Just as much as they’re [Fox students] apart of my competition, they are also my peers,” Mack said. “If the focus is just competition and not partnership, then the lines just get blurred.”

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