University health services facility is an embarrassment

Meghan Viveiros

As a member of our community my hope is to shed light on a concern that has been ignored. My worry stems from the failure of our university’s student health services in meeting the needs of the student body. This issue has been brought to the attention of the Student Government Association, and they have examined all aspects of this situation. They have addressed the seriousness of this problem with administration, and they have proposed possible ideas for solutions to the office of the dean of students.

In response, the administration has toyed with the idea of possibly expanding health services into the area that now houses security. But this idea was no more than a mere suggestion in conversation, and there is currently no written plan for expansion or funds dedicated to this project.

The health services facility itself is an embarrassment, and I empathize with its staff for doing the best job they are capable of doing given the extremely limited resources that they have. The health center is the same now as it was in the 1970’s. Nearly every other building on campus has seen renovation or expansion since that time. Our student population has increased dramatically in the past three decades, yet the health center still only houses one exam room, while most universities of our size hold three.

Many students are hesitant to even visit the health center because they know that if the doctor is not on campus, the staff will be able to offer them little more than over the counter Tylenol and cough drops when they really may need a prescription strength medication. To alleviate this problem most Universities of our size employ a full time nurse practitioner who is available to prescribe basic medications eight hours a day on weekdays and four hours a day on weekends.

I think I speak for many of the students here when I ask, are you listening? Are you, our administration who without us here would not have a job, giving any attention to our needs or just yours? For if you claim that you are, then what do you say in response to this growing concern and the fact that it has been ignored for so long with no concrete plan of action in sight? Consider this, and consider that your failure to address these questions or take any action to alleviate this problem, will only confirm the feeling that you are here for you and not for us.