Monday, 16 April 2007

What is Kampus Sejahtera?

Ah, yes, I have a new job. Since 15th March 2007 I have been appointed (no, its not a promotion but it has its benefits) to the position of Healthy Campus Coordinator at Universiti Sains Malaysia. What are the benefits? Some extra pocket money, yes. I get a great corner office with two windows looking out at some gloriously green trees (angsana, neem, flame of the forest, frangipani, to name a few) - more on that at another time. Oh, yes, I have to think alot - right now trying to figure what I want to do at this new job.

So, what's "kampus sejahtera", you ask? "Kampus" is "campus", straight forward enough. "Sejahtera" is a Malay word which has multiple meanings including "peace, tranquility, harmony, wellness and health". I believe it was coined by my big boss (Dato Dzul, Vice-Chancellor of USM) when he first initiated the Healthy Campus programme in 2001. So, it's been more than 5 years now and a tremendous amount of effort have been put into it led by the previous coordinator (Dr. Izham, currently the Director of the Corporate and Sustainable Development Division where the Kampus Sejahtera Unit is located).

Again, back to what is Kampus Sejahtera? We had a fruitful 3-hour meeting this morning (we overshot by one hour) to clarify, confirm and expand the concept.
  1. We should now brand USM as Kampus Sejahtera (in other words, avoid using Healthy Campus if possible because Kampus Sejahtera reaches far beyond the ideas of healthy campus).
  2. Kampus Sejahtera is a healthy lifestyle concept which extends beyond the work carried out by the Unit itself. Everyone can subscribe to the concept and contribute individually and collectively to achieve the goals.
  3. What are those goals? It embraces those from Healthy Campus and Sustainable Development. Specifically, the goals for Healthy Campus are : to improve quality of life, increase life expectancy and access to quality healthy care. Sustainable development is on everybody's lips and what it seeks to do is essentially to make sure that Mother Earth will still be a great place to live for our children, grandchildren and their grandchildren. Take only what we need for a comfortable and meaningful lifestyle. How, you ask? Eat more vegetables instead of meat; walk or cycle instead of taking the car to the corner shop; switch off your office air-con if the weather outside is cool; plant more trees; practice 4Rs (some say 5Rs); lots more we can do which we will talk more later.
I have refined the concept maps for Healthy Campus and Kampus Sejahtera as seen below (click on image to enlarge it).

If you have ideas to share, lets hear it. If you have done something which fits in with the concept of Kampus Sejahtera and you think we can share with the rest of the World, get in touch with us. We are currently working on preparing a Sustainable Development Report for USM, built around the concept of Kampus Sejahtera. We would love to include your effort in this Report.

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