The Faculty of Health Student Association Keeps Student Life Alive in Langley

New club aims to support students in the Faculty of Health
Joseph Keller, Web Editor

Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s newest student club, The Faculty of Health Student Association, aims to bring student life to the Langley campus while also supporting Faculty of Health students in dealing with unique challenges in their area of study.

“I feel that, if the students feel they are connecting with other students, especially in different cohorts, I’m going to be happy,” says Faculty of Health Student Association President Temira Nicholls. “As a younger student I never had a chance to connect to the older cohorts and I didn’t have that mentorship. One of the big goals of our club is connecting all the students.”

The club was originally set to be named the Kwantlen Nursing Association, but organizers opted to go with a name that was more inclusive of the broader range of Faculty of Health programs.

Nicholls says that Faculty of Health students face special challenges in addition to those faced by all university students. Due to the department’s location on KPU’s Langley campus, students in the program are somewhat isolated from much of the student life programming offered on the Surrey and Richmond grounds. The Faculty of Health Student Association hopes to be able to fill this student life void.

Perhaps more importantly, students in the Faculty of Health can often be put under significant emotional stress due to the nature of the programs’ subject matter. These programs often bring students in direct contact with intense suffering of the sick and dying. Nicholls says that it is imperative that students have support from their peers as they come to terms with these harsh realities of patient care.

“One of the biggest challenges in the Faculty of Health is that we have clinical situations where we’re working with patients one-on-one, and one of the big issues is that we as students don’t feel like we’re getting the emotional support,” says Nicholls. “For example, we’re dealing with death. We’re dealing with end of life care and that can be really challenging.”

She goes on to explain that an important function of the Faculty of Health Student Association is to provide support and mentorship to new Health students as they navigate these emotional challenges.

“For the younger students or the students in their first year having someone to say, ‘Yes, I’ve been through the same thing as you and yes, you’re able to get through it,’ is really positive,” says Nicholls.

Former KSA VP Student Life Natasha Lopes helped create the Faculty of Health Student Association by walking club organisers through the process of setting up events and conducting meetings democratically. She says that the enthusiasm and passion displayed by the organisers of the Faculty of Health Student Association is encouraging, and she is excited to see how the club develops.

“To me [everything that the club organisers have done] demonstrates not only a will to want to do things on campus, but a love of their department, and that they’re actually there to support the students,” says Lopes.

During the short time that the club has been operating, it has provided some opportunities for student life on the Langley campus, such as a ‘Get to Know us’ event where the club handed out coffee and doughnuts. Nicholls says that even a small event like this was appreciated by students on the campus.

The club is planning to hold monthly events such as pub nights, dinners to support local homeless shelters, outdoor events like hiking and archery, movie nights, bowling, and more.

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