Students looking to voice their campus health concerns to University Health Services can apply for the Spring 2018 Student Health Advisory Committee, SHAC.
The SHAC is a student-run organization that relays the health concerns of the UT student body to UHS, serving as a health advocacy group on campus. The committee promotes UHS services and works on student health projects on campus.
Kristen Luu, biology junior and SHAC recruitment and membership engagement director, said the committee aims to represent all students at UT and is looking for students from all majors to apply for this semester’s committee.
“The whole point is that SHAC needs to be an accurate representation of the student body and it’s not currently so — it’s more so (College of Natural Science)-based and pre-health based,” Luu said. “So we really want all majors — pre-law, business — just so we can get a more accurate student body percentage, so they can voice their concerns about UHS and health and then we can relay that.”
Zachary Cohen-Ford, the senior administrative associate at UHS who advises SHAC, said the committee is the first student group that senior staff at UHS go to for input when making decisions or changes.
“They go to SHAC and ask them how they feel about this change, get their input, modify what they’re thinking based on the input they receive from SHAC and move on from there,” Cohen-Ford said.
Last year, SHAC conducted a student body survey for UHS’s budget report that compiled information on which UHS services were used most by students. According to Cohen-Ford, this survey led to changes to the way UHS charges students by giving bigger discounts to the most frequently used services.
Some of the projects in the works include an STI-testing campaign and fundraising for those who cannot afford STI testing. Connie Zhao, biomedical engineering senior and SHAC president, said ideas from SHAC can easily become policy changes in UHS.
“If you have an idea, we have the resources, we have the people, we have people that want to help you,” Zhao said. “If you have an idea you want to go for, you can definitely do that. There’s always going to be regulations and checkpoints, but I think it’s a great place to start if you want to start making change.”
Members are accepted through an application and interview process open until Feb. 19.