Student Senate in favor of health fee increase; will vote next week

Student+Senate+in+favor+of+health+fee+increase%3B+will+vote+next+week

WILSON HARTSOCK, Channels Staff

The Associated Student Senate discussed the $1 fee increase for Student Health that would be paid by all enrolled City College students at their Friday, May 9 meeting.

Director of Student Health Services Laura Fariss addressed the Student Senate in an official meeting today for the second time with her justification to raise the fee.

No health services would be cut without the increase but Fariss ensures that it will help to keep up with the modern age of technology and continue efficiency.

“We’re trying our best to do a good job for you and we want to support you in every way,” said Fariss. “And we’re asking you to support us.”

She stated that this money would be spent to expand the Student Health Services programs by implementing an electronic medical record system as well as a method to create appointments online.

The fee increase will likewise benefit the Personal Counseling program as well as Project Hope.

“The money goes towards student support,” said Student Trustee Christian Alvarez. “Why wouldn’t we want that?”

Two weeks ago Student Program Advisor for Project HOPE Ben Murphy and Personal Counselor Alyson Bostwick both helped encourage the senate that the money would also go towards making sure counselors have more open hours and will be easier to access.

This year the Student Health Services added three new personal counselors with 30 more hours of counseling available; offering students a shorter wait time to deal with personal issues.

Project Hope will be using the funds to rebrand its name in order to encourage students to seek the help they need on addiction related issues.

Fariss also pointed out the Health Services ability to suture, stating that one stitch can cost up to $500 at an Emergency Room but is offered right now at no cost to students on campus.

New physician assistant hours were also created to guarantee that students could be prescribed medication more efficiently at any of their office hours.

The fee increase will also go towards maintaining the current health services offered on campus including the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinic and Planned Parenthood for sexual health services.

“Medical costs are always rising,” said Fariss. “This is why we need to increase the fee.”

The only concern the Student Senate has is the lack of advertising for these programs on campus.

The Senate will vote on this at their last meeting on Friday, May 16.