A group of Brandon University students are working together to make their campus healthier. This past Tuesday, a town hall-style meeting took place in the BU Cafeteria. The goal of the meeting, hosted by Healthy Campus, was to get students involved in making their university a better place to be.
Jenna Clinton is a third-year psychiatric nursing student, who first became involved with the program last year. She explains that Healthy Campus started right here in Brandon.
“Healthy Campus started with a few researchers in Brandon, through the Health Studies Faculty, and through people in Prince Albert.”
“They wanted to start off with smaller universities to get the project going,” says Clinton, adding they hope to expand their reach in the future. “[They] want to show students the options they do have [on campus], that are healthy options, and then if there aren’t healthy options, they want to try to encourage schools to include them, using student input and also having students volunteer and try to get things organized.”
Clinton explains the purpose of the meeting was to get more BU students involved with the project. “We wanted to recruit more students so we could form working groups to attack specific issues.”
After students came up with numerous areas they wanted to focus on, they broke up into groups. “The groups […] worked on their issues, and then afterwards we had each group present what they had come up with,” says Clinton, “the goal was to have the idea you came up with, how you were going to go about achieving those goals, the resources that you have and are going to need, and how you’re going to advertise it and get people involved.”
There were many issues deliberated, including campus food and active living. “One of [the issues] was obviously the food in the cafeteria, because that’s an issue that comes up every year,” notes Clinton, “They tried to come up with ways to get more people pushing for [change], because unless people say things, no one’s going to change.”
Other topics discussed included forming different clubs, such as a running club, and a club to fight the “freshman fifteen,” among other active living initiatives.
“There was one [group], they wanted to do gym blasts, and the fourth year nursing students wanted to have a health clinic on campus,” adds Clinton, noting there were many other important issues addressed as well.
Looking into the future, Clinton hopes to see students stay involved with Healthy Campus, and assist with the implementation of the many ideas presented at the meeting. She says seeing students come out and voice their opinions was a very positive first step.
“Everyone participated, and came up with ideas – it was really awesome!”
For more information on Healthy Campus, or if you want to become involved, you can visit them online at www.healthycampus.ca.