BC ministers learn about CHASI projects in UFV visit
UFV’s Community Health and Social Innovation Hub (CHASI) welcomed two provincial government ministers to the Abbotsford campus Nov 14. Mike Farnworth is BC’s deputy premier, solicitor general and minister of public safety. Pam Alexis is minister of agriculture and food. They visited CHASI to hear about the team’s work on projects associated with public safety issues.
CHASI’s student research assistants shared several projects, including recent work related to gang prevention, restorative justice practices, and youth crime trends.
“Not every undergraduate student has the chance to meet with senior government officials to present their research and ask difficult questions,” said Ekaterina Marenkov, CHASI research assistant. “The ministers’ visit gave us a chance for some face-to-face time with people able to make real change in our communities.”
“We want to know that all of our hard work isn’t sitting on a shelf gathering dust,” added Carlanna Thompson, CHASI research assistant. “This was a great opportunity to present our projects, and to see that they can really have an impact.”
The presentations were followed by a discussion about public safety initiatives, including a look at why students may or may not pursue a career in policing. Susan Mide Kiss, UFV’s Vice-President, Community Engagement, attended the presentation and was impressed by what she saw and heard.
“It was a valuable opportunity for Ministers Farnworth and Alexis to learn more about the depth and breadth of community engaged research led by CHASI’s researchers and student researchers,” Mide Kiss said. “It was an honour to listen, learn and recognize the impact of CHASI — throughout the Fraser Valley and BC.”
Dr. Martha Dow, CHASI director, said the visit affirmed the value and impact of the research and community engagement model employed by CHASI.
“Our team greatly appreciated the ministers making time to visit us and hear about our work,” Dow says. “We look forward to an ongoing discussion about the ways CHASI can collaborate with B.C.’s provincial government on critical issues impacting individual and community perceptions of safety.”