The Undergraduate Student Association’s (USA) Public Health Committee chair, Alyssa Deacon, said that they are taking a more holistic approach to health on campus.
The Public Health Committee’s purpose is to advocate for students and their health holistically by focusing on not just physical health, but other aspects as well.
“Empowering students to value their physical, mental, and social health through education, opportunity, and connection with the community,” Deacon said. “Inspiring individual growth and catalyzing positive change in the health of all students.”
Their mission statement represents the health of students by working alongside other organizations to promote the well-being of all members of the Canisius community. The committee works alongside USA, senators, and students to find resolutions to health issues on campus and organize events that engage the community to think more about all aspects of health.
Deacon said they are always looking to work with other clubs and organizations on campus to promote the importance of health and the different types of health.
All clubs can promote health amongst their members, she said. Simply, by looking out for each other, providing more nutritional options at events, or group bonding.
“We’ve definitely taken the club in kind of a slightly different direction… then we did last year in taking a more holistic approach,” Deacon said, “so not just doing events like flu vaccinations, although that is very important, but we’re taking you know the mental and social component into consideration when we’re planning all of our events.”
In the past, the Public Health Committee has worked with the counseling center to sponsor a Stress Less Day, and with the Diversity Committee concerning food justice in relation to Buffalo and Canisius.
When taking into consideration the social component of health, the Public Health Committee is in the works of hosting an event known as a Group Home Social. They plan on inviting a local group home to campus to do some fun activities with them.
One of their major events this semester will be Public Health Week from March 30 until April 3 that will take on the different aspects of health through events like yoga, meal prepping and Take Back the Night.
“It’s absolutely important to be able to interact with people that aren’t just like you and to be able to engage with the community in a new way,” Deacon said.
She said developing how Canisius interacts with the community is important to the overall health of the campus.
With plans to become a physician and after going on a medical missions trip to Costa Rica, Deacon wanted to make a difference on campus and make health more accessible to the Canisius community.
She’s able to achieve these aspirations by pursuing initiatives and being available to help others who are passionate about health to help them put their ideas into action.
The committee is made up of about 30 members consisting of senators and the general student population. Recently, they have added an associate chair to this committee, Meighan Murphy, who is a junior senator. Their general body meetings are held at 6:20 p.m. in the student center conference room and all students are welcome.