University of the Fraser Valley

Referral rebrand at the Student Support Centre

Referral rebrand at the Student Support Centre

Located in room S1111 of the Abbotsford Student Union Building, the Student Support Centre helps students navigate university policies and challenging circumstances while connecting them to resources. Though previously known as Priority Access to Student Support (PASS), they now provide the same care and assistance through a Student Support Referral instead of a PASS referral.

This rebrand offers more clarity and consistency while reflecting the coordinators’ work more accurately. Along with the updated title comes an updated website with easily navigable information for students, staff and faculty. The changes were made with a trauma-informed lens and added accessibility in mind, so prospective visitors can feel at ease; it details what to expect, where to go, and what options are available for meetings (such as virtual, phone, and in person appointments).

For many students, there are obstacles preventing access to the help they need. Others may have questions and not know where to go; the Student Support Centre is an excellent source of information for both. Student Support Coordinators use a strengths-based approach to help identify needs and barriers, walk students through their options, then co-create a plan for next steps.

Student Support Coordinator Alyson Gher-White says, “While we’re listening and making space for students to talk about their circumstances, we’re also listening for the skills and tools they’ve used up to that point. We work collaboratively with the student to empower them in building upon their individual strengths for student readiness and beyond.”

And it’s not just students they’re supporting. Faculty and staff who have concerns about students and are unsure how to help can consult a Student Support Coordinator, or refer a student to the SSC. A student having issues in class may be experiencing layered challenges, like housing insecurity. For example, someone who appears tired and isn’t paying attention could be living in their car and struggling to afford food.

“We offer an additional person they can bring in to find out more about the student and what they’re experiencing. Because they might not have time to go in-depth with students when they have so many, we can meet with them to find out what else is going on,” says Mallory Manley, manager of the Student Support Centre.

Students can connect with a coordinator by referring themselves, or through a referral from a faculty or staff member.  The Student Support Centre also employs Student Support Peers, who provide one-on-one help with goal setting and action planning from the perspective of a fellow student.

Those looking for more information can visit the Student Support Centre website here, or email