Editorial: On the Role of Health Services on Campus

By the Editorial Board Skidmore provides a number of essential services for its students. The school feeds us, keeps us safe, and provides health services. Anyone who has been seriously ill knows that your health takes priority. Being sick, especially when you are away from your family at school, takes a significant toll on your ability to keep up with class work and participation in college life. It is in the best interest of the College to provide affordable and effective services to keep its students healthy. The Editorial Board believes that Skidmore’s Health Services’ is not as productive and beneficial to its students as it could or should be.2b8d700f-41d6-407f-8df7-eb0158f277a8

Health Services employs a number of policies that do not serve its students as well it could. The office is closed on Saturdays and open 9 am to 5 pm, with one hour for lunch, during the week. We understand that the office is limited in its staffing and funding, but these hours make it difficult for a busy student to stop by for a check-in. Students can-- and should-- make appointments to ensure availability, but students frequently hope to just drop in for a quick consultation. Closing the office entirely on Saturday, the first day in the week when most students are truly free, poses a significant inconvenience that could preclude students from seeking timely health care. And that's for the students who know where Health Services is located, many do not. The addition of awkward hours for students who have class from 9-5 and poor visibility results in a poor reputation.

The office should launch an advertising and awareness campaign on campus. If students-- especially first years-- were made aware of the services available in the first floor of Jonsson Tower, they would be more likely to seek out the office in case of health issues. Furthermore, with Health Services not currently promoting itself, the only impression is the one from students. The office should speak up to improve its reputation on campus.

The office could also engage in outreach to students, reaching out on a personal level (as well as practical) to allow students to connect a face to the office. Liaising with the Peer Health Educators, through Health Services, would allow Health Services to reach the student body through their peers. Certain offices (Peer Advocates, for example) work with the First Year Experience to present their services to first year seminars. Health Services could organize a similar seminar to make first year students aware of the variety of services available.

Making several changes in how Health Services represents itself on campus would make a difference in how students perceive the service.

Campus Safety Reports Nov.21-27

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