VOICE 3 | Revisiting Healthy Campus Development at UBC Okanagan

VOICE 3 (2012 to 2015)

Revisiting healthy campus development

At UBC’s Okanagan Campus

VOICE 3 is a community action research study that replicates and extends previous healthy campus research. Its purpose is:

  1. Translate knowledge from previous healthy campus research.
  2. Increase knowledge about taking into account diverse perspectives when students and non-students work together to create, renew, and sustain health-promoting campus change (non-students include faculty, administrators, staff and campus business people).
  1. Build and maintain student and non-student partnerships to create, renew, and sustain relevant health-promoting change, taking into account diverse perspectives.
  2. Identify health-related campus experiences of specific student population sub-groups (i.e. Aboriginal, Student Athletes, International, LGBTQ [Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgendered and Queer], Graduate).
  3. Assess factors which support or jeopardize health-promoting change.
  4. Recommend strategies for enhancing health-promoting change in other campus environments and communities.

Healthy community development on post-secondary campuses is an emerging field of research because young adults often engage in high risk behavior that can be prevented by interventions aimed at changing health determinants (e.g. social, physical, environmental). This study will contribute new knowledge to the healthy campus development literature. Also, the extensive involvement of students working with non-students to improve the campus is anticipated to have an immediate impact on the study campus (e.g. increasing students’ research capacity). The following video was produced by Simon Fraser University and highlights the benefits of healthy campus communities:

The VOICE framework combines community action research methods, setting-based health promotion strategies and youth-adult partnership theory. Research, education, and action are cyclical activities. The design evolves through negotiation and dialogue between the community and researchers with community members functioning as co-researchers, in an egalitarian research team (see below figure).


The team comprises a rich mix of multidisciplinary faculty, students, senior administrators, managers of university departments, and campus business people. Large numbers of undergraduate students become co-researchers (e.g. 70-80), often receiving course credit. The research team and consultant structure is designed to engage all sectors of the campus community as well as the local community. Everyone on campus is welcome to participate.

ubco.tv filmed a segment during the January 2012 Expo highlighting the work of VOICE: