Note: This article initially stated that the Student Union Society “discussed the possibility of moving the clinic into the space that had previously been considered for the Equalities Resource Centre (ERC), as it was seeing low usage by students.” This is untrue, as the ERC is not open for student use. This article has been changed to more clearly convey what was discussed at the SUS board meeting. The Cascade apologizes for any confusion this article may have caused.
At the last Board of Directors meeting last Friday, October 30, the Student Union Society (SUS) discussed the possibility of a health centre on campus.
According to the proposal, the clinic would handle six key areas of health: psychological and emotional well-being, sexual and reproductive health, routine medical care, treating pre-existing conditions, sports and medicine, and vaccination services. It would be limited to UFV student use only, and the initial service would be run by Dr. Cherniwchan with the potential for co-operation with UFV programs such as kinesiology, health sciences, and business. SUS had proposed the idea of creating a traditional medical clinic and dental service in the Student Union Building (SUB) to the university last year, but there were concerns from UFV regarding the operations and liability of running a clinic on campus. However, the new proposal, headed by Dr. Darin P. Cherniwchan from the Fraser Valley Travel Clinic, had already had expressed support from the faculty of health sciences dean Joanna MacLean, and the UFV president’s office.
SUS president Thomas Davies noted that the costs would be roughly $50,000, but that the operational costs after the start-up would be covered by an MSP fees paid out by the government.
“A part of that fee goes to the doctor, while another part of it goes to the clinic,” he said. “[It] would pay for the consumable clinical supplies as well as other upkeep costs.”
The board discussed the possibility of moving the clinic into the space that had previously been considered for the Equalities Resources Centre (ERC), on the third floor of the SUB. On the topic of the ERC, vice-president external Sukhi Brar said that no headway has been made by the Equalities Committee — who had been tasked in developing the vision of the centre — because those involved have not been able to agree on what the ERC would do.
“Our equalities officer has been trying to come to a middle ground, but there is no middle ground,” said Brar. “It’s impossible right now to make progress.”
Brar also said that UFV’s own Peer Resource Centre, located inside the Student Life facility in the SUB, has recently expanded its mandate to include a great deal of what the ERC envisioned in the first place. “A lot of what was envisioned for the ERC has actually been fulfilled,” she said.
“It doesn’t make sense to duplicate something.”
Davies said that he will get more operational details and a potential layout for the clinic.
The Cascade will continue to cover this story in the coming weeks.
With files from Jeffrey Trainor.