Death of Natalia Amaya: the solution lies in the information, according to UdeS

1176198If we had to learn from the tragic death of the Colombian Natalia Vanessa Jimenez Amaya, last December in Sherbrooke, is that we can not repeat too students what resources are available to them and how to access.

“It is a tragedy that shook much the university community,” admits the outset, four months after the tragedy, the general secretary and vice-rector for international relations and student life at the University of Sherbrooke Jocelyne Faucher.

“Everyone was devastated. There was a great movement of sympathy and empathy on campus. Immediately we questioned our methods and we wanted to know what had happened. And it was agreed that the main responsibility is information. ”

Listed on an exchange program at the University of Sherbrooke, where she came to study the French language, Natalia Jiménez died on December 6 at the hospital where his friends had led emergency. The young woman of 21 years would have succumbed to a lung infection after apparently quick to see a doctor.

A few days after the tragedy, his friends had testified in The Tribune of their deep grief; his great friend and compatriot Lucia had also organized a fundraiser, supported by the British Association Estrie, to help the mother of Natalia to pay for the funeral of the young woman.

But in a letter sent to The Tribune and reproduced in the Opinions section of this edition, Kevin McKenna challenges the support offered to international students at the University of Sherbrooke.

“University of Sherbrooke staff pays great attention to the reception of students and particularly to welcoming international students, said for his part Ms. Faucher. All sessions, so the fall, winter and summer, there are sessions specific information for foreign students, a sort of manual of university life, life in Sherbrooke and services available to students. (…) It goes as far as to explain why one can consult a health care professional in Quebec because we are aware that there are also cultural factors to the fact someone to consult “says Ms. Faucher.

“But there is an observation to make, continues Ms. Faucher is that when transmitting information when we do not need, retention is not the same. It is a challenge to convey information to the repeat of the post, to make it easily accessible. We must also put more emphasis on the Info-Santé line because it is unique to Quebec. ”

Recognizing the reality of student agendas often filled, the medical clinic on campus for his part, began a shift to suitable access, as several clinics in the province. This means that access to appointments with one or other of the four doctors posted will be modulated according to the urgency of the situation. “It is an independent turn of the tragedy, however, says Ms. Faucher, since it is thought to implement this system for several years. ”

More broadly about life in Sherbrooke and Quebec, the Vice-President of Students will promote the concept of sponsorship in place on campus for international students, the involvement of many student associations, as well as the work the professional work of the agency of international Relations who comes to the bridge with clients coming from elsewhere.

Reiterating how the death of Natalia Jiménez is a nameless sadness at the same time that a situation “extremely rare,” Ms. Faucher concluded that the University makes every effort to ensure that its students, as much here as elsewhere , have easy access to all the information on the resources available. “And we will do more, she said. Again and again. Because a tragedy like Natalia, it is one too many. ”

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