VOICE 2 | Healthy Campus Development at UBC Okanagan

Voice 2 (2009 to 2011)

Creating a Healthier Campus Community

Students and Organizational Leaders as Co-Researchers

Building from the findings of VOICE 2006-2009, the purpose of this next study, VOICE 2009-2011, was to increase knowledge about sustaining and renewing healthy campus development given diverse and sometimes competing interests.

Campus Health team members within the Health and Wellness unit decided to use the VOICE framework as a guide for their day-to-day community health practice on campus. In this way they could test the practicality and effectiveness of the framework longitudinally, in particular when external research funding was no longer bolstering the work. All Campus Health team members now also had roles as VOICE researchers.

As needed, previously identified campus health interests (e.g. food, water, trails etc) were followed up by ongoing action groups and networks, some issues were resolved (e.g. night lighting), and new campus health issues of interest were brought forward by members of the community (e.g. skateboarding, alcohol misuse in residences and across faculties). Those who brought issues forward were invited to participate in the work to increase understanding and resolve issues.

The 2009-2011 study continued to use the VOICE framework, combining 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).

CPAR-model

VOICE students and their non-student partners worked on projects that focused on the following interests: