UCC President Professor John O’Halloran, Isobel Kavanagh MTU Cork Students’ Union President, Alannah O’Connor, UCC Students’ Union Welfare Officer and MTU Registrar & Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr Áine Ní Shé at the signing by UCC and MTU of Healthy Campus Charters. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

UCC and MTU sign new healthy campus charter

2 universities on Leeside have come together to sign a charter which will see them become healthier places to study, work, and research the wellbeing of future generations.

UCC and MTU have signed Healthy Campus charters for their respective institutions at a gathering at a recent UCC. The Healthy Campus initiative is a framework through which higher education institutions can implement national policies and strategies in the keys areas of physical activity, obesity, tobacco, sexual health, mental health, and drugs and alcohol in a way that addresses local needs.

Having signed the charter, each institution has pledged to appoint Healthy Campus Co-ordinators and form steering groups who will consult with students and staff. This consultation will lead to the development and implementation of a holistic, whole-campus approach to promoting health.

The signing of the charters at the gathering was attended by student and staff representatives from UCC and MTU, as well as Higher Education Authority National Healthy Campus Co-ordinator Caroline Mahon and Cork Healthy Cities Co-ordinator Denise Cahill.

Speaking at the signing of the charter, UCC President Professor John O’Halloran said: “In partnering with our students and staff, and by leveraging on the incredible internal expertise of academic, research and professional communities, we can take advantage of the unique setting that is a university campus environment, not only to improve individual health and well-being, but also to generate research outputs, create new knowledge, and learn how to do this better in more effective and sustainable ways.”

MTU President, Professor Maggie Cusack said: “Munster Technological University is delighted to commit to the Higher Education Healthy Campus Charter and Framework. We are particularly pleased to sign the charter jointly with University College Cork. With this signing, we aspire to bring students, staff, and the wider community together to achieve the aims of this framework and be agents of transformative change for the benefit of our society.”

Alannah O’Connor, UCC Students’ Union Welfare Officer said: “The Students’ Union sees UCC’s adoption of the Healthy Campus Charter as a very positive thing for students. Integrating health and wellbeing into the university experience of students and the wider UCC community will be very beneficial in protecting and enhancing the welfare of students.

“Priority areas under the framework like mental health, sexual health, and tobacco and alcohol tie in very closely with the mandates given to us as student representatives, because of this we believe that the Healthy Campus Charter is something from which students will really benefit.”