What's in a name? Student voices. Applied Health Sciences becomes Faculty of Health

Abbie Simpson
Wed, 11/11/2020 - 16:15

Beginning January 2021, The Faculty of Applied Health Sciences will become the Faculty of Health. 

The name change process began in February 2020 and was passed through Faculty and Admin Councils until it was brought to the University of Waterloo Senate meeting on September 21. Here, your undergraduate student representatives spoke in opposition to the name change citing lack of student consultation and undergraduate student engagement in the process. After voicing concerns, the undergraduate caucus voted in abstention on the name change.  

After the Senate meeting, Aiman Fatima (AHS Councillor) and I brought forward a discussion item to the October Students’ Council meeting to review the decision and get feedback from Councillors. AHS Representatives reported that they received a lot of negative push-back about the name change from their constituents and stressed the need for more effort from administration to collect student input on faculty decisions. Council agreed that undergraduate student representatives at the Board of Governors should not vote in favour of the name change.  

Before the Board of Governors meeting, I met with the Dean of AHS to review concerns and discuss paths forward. With departments within AHS getting ready to review their names, we wanted to make sure we, as undergrads, were involved in this process.  

We are the University's largest stakeholders and should be prioritized in decision making. We're happy to hear that the Faculty of AHS (soon to be the Faculty of Health) is taking time to hear from their students now and into the future.  

I would like to thank the Dean and the Department Chairs who reached out to WUSA, our Student Societies, and Student Councillors to discuss ways to improve their communication with us, as your student reps. We look forward to making similar connections across campus.  

Interested in being part of the process and want a seat at the table? Nominations for representative positions are now live on vote.wusa.ca. I encourage everyone to get involved so they can share their voice and represent the voices of others.