Syracuse University Makes the Most of Monday

May 21st, 2012

A recent writeup in Syracuse University Magazine showcases the power that Monday promotions can have in starting and sustaining behavior change. Meatless Monday is one of many weekly initiatives on the Syracuse campus and in the local community, where a team of public health experts is utilizing marketing best practices and the latest technology to help people stay healthy.

Students at Syracuse can start their week with a wide range of nutrition and fitness activities, including Meatless Monday in the school’s cafeteria, free fruit deliveries, free ‘Move It Monday‘ classes, wellness seminars, and campus health surveys. For the local community, there are Meatless Monday meals at neighborhood restaurants, nutrition programs, and public health forums. Students and citizens alike can stay connected to the campaigns through the Healthy Syracuse website, Facebook, Twitter or by checking in on Foursquare.

This extensive program is thanks to the work of The Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion, which was established in October 2011 by Monday Campaigns founder, Sid Lerner. “Sid is a social marketing pioneer,” Center Director Tom Dennison told Syracuse University Magazine. “He was really ahead of the curve with Meatless Monday, marrying the power of cyclical messaging to the reduction of chronic, preventable disease and using a social, networked, grassroots approach to pushing the idea out into the community. His timing and execution were just right, and I think that’s why we are really seeing this explode.”

The center has already made great strides in educating both the community and future health professionals, with plans to do even more in the coming months. The Lerner Center is now working with both SUNY Upstate Medical University and Say Yes to Education to establish additional Monday Campaigns and related events.