UC Santa Cruz set to sign Okanagan Charter

May 09, 2024

By Derek Martin 

On May 13th, UCSC Chancellor, Cindy Larive, will sign the Okanagan Charter, officially joining 29 other US universities who have adopted the charter, making us the 4th UC campus to adopt along with Berkeley, UCLA, andokanagan.png UCI. This signing ceremony is the culmination of the dedicated work of the Okanagan Charter Workgroup, who, charged by Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Akirah Bradley-Armstrong, was tasked with laying out the direction the university would take to bring the charter to UCSC. 

The Okanagan Charter is a framework that places health at the center of the decision making process at higher ed institutions. The ultimate goal is to create health promoting universities, ie, institutions who center their policies, practices, and operations around the concept of building wellness for students, faculty, staff, the larger community, and the planet as a whole. 

What sets the Okanagan Charter apart is the inclusion of both human and planetary health determinants in the decision making process. This work will look different at every campus and at UCSC we’ve identified 5 main pillars of focus for implementing the spirit of the charter. These 5 pillars include; Belonging and Connection, Faculty and Academic Success, Culture of Wellbeing, Sustainability, and Supporting Infrastructure. 

“By placing health and wellbeing at the center of the change management process at UCSC will enable us to examine how we meet the critical mission of the university in a way that holistically addresses large societal issues such as climate change, mental health, and taking care of the planet.” said Derek Martin, a member of the Okanagan Charter Work Group.  

The signing ceremony marks the beginning of the Okanagan Charter work with the launch of the UCSC Wellness Collective.