From Sabah: WWU Joins National Network of Health Promotion Universities


By adopting the charter, we are making the institutional commitment to evolve towards more systemic strategies that influence the health and well-being of every member of the Western community. With a focus on person, place and planet, the Okanagan Charter is a comprehensive framework that calls on post-secondary schools to integrate health into all aspects of campus culture and to lead action and development. local and global health promotion collaboration. While we have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us, we are making progress, as the following examples show.

LOCATION: In September, Western opened our new residence hall, named after Alma Clark Glass, the first African-American student to attend Western in 1906. Glass Hall is more than just a student residence; it’s a community that celebrates Ms. Glass’s legacy with vibrant artwork created by student Katana Sol, and offers Black Affinity accommodations to explore and affirm the experiences of black students at WWU. This new space complements other intentional living and learning communities, including Pride Housing and the Honors community. If you would like to join the Okanagan Task Force, please email Brandon Joseph, WWU Director of Resilience. This task force will be tasked with developing an integrated inter-campus plan with achievable goals and actions to help us advance wellness work through the Okanagan Charter.

Western is uniquely positioned to inform knowledge, education and research in health and wellness by engaging students, leading by example, and advocating with decision-makers. To that end, we look forward to working with leaders in Bellingham and Whatcom County on issues such as expanding child care and housing and food security to build stronger and more inclusive communities. at WWU and beyond. My sincere thanks to Dr. Sislena Grocer Ledbetter, Associate Vice President for Counseling, Health and Wellness, who led efforts to put Western at the forefront of Okanagan charter universities, and to all of our faculty, students and staff who work to transform the health and sustainability of our current and future societies. I hope all of us in the Western community find ways to contribute to this vital work.

PLANET: We are also excited about the new Kaiser Borsari Hall, which is currently in the design phase. This electrical engineering, computer and energy science building will be the region’s only net zero / zero carbon energy facility, of only a handful in the country, and will advance Western’s vision of becoming the the region’s first carbon neutral university campus. . Western’s Bellingham campus also now receives 100% of its energy from wind power produced at the Skookumchuck wind facility under Puget Sound Energy’s Green Direct program. PERSON: The former Counseling Center and Prevention and Welfare Services merged to form the Counseling and Welfare Center to simplify access for students requiring mental and social health support . The counseling and wellness center is also being renovated to refresh the spaces and create a more welcoming environment, introducing cultural art and incorporating elements of the exterior landscape into the buildings. It will also add four new counselors, including mental health practitioners identified as Black, Indigenous and LGBTQ. The Student Health Center also recently launched gender-affirming hormone therapy for students.

Sabah Regards,

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