The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Student Health and Wellness deserves extra fee for services

The Channels Opinion Pages | EDITORIAL

The one thing more important than a student’s education is their health and well-being.

Unfortunately, many students at City College are unaware of the medical goods and services that are provided to them.

For this reason, The Channels Editorial Board hopes to inform students about the Student Health and Wellness department to gain their support in the proposed increase for the student health fee.

Per student, the current fall and spring semester fee is $19 and summer session fee is $14. The department is asking to increase the fall and spring fee to $20 and summer fee to $17.

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The department is entirely funded by this fee, which is why its proposed fee increase makes sense.

Enrollment dropped by 1,600 students since last semester resulting in the department’s $30,400 loss. Due to insufficient funds, the department fired hourly staff and cut down others’ hours.

Instead of hiring another teacher last semester, City College hired a second full-time mental health counselor because the department was and is still backed up with medical, personal, and substance abuse counseling appointments.

However, the department never hesitates when it comes to emergencies. It immediately takes care of medical and mental crisis appointments, in which additionally to limited staff, causes regular appointments to be pushed back.

In simple situations, students can walk into the Student Health and Wellness Center to grab free over-the-counter medication and supplies.

The department’s services are essential to students, especially for those whose regular doctors are out-of-town.

Last year, the department had a total of 4,967 appointments. Thirty percent of them were taken on by one full-time nurse practitioner as she is the only qualified nurse to give students flu shots.

On top of appointments, the department helps students get covered under medical insurance if their families can’t afford it. This can be a tremendous help due to current problems regarding U.S. health care.

The department also provides community partnership resources and peer health education through the Wellness Connection.

Quite frankly, the list could go on and on with the amount of services the department provides to our fellow students.

For more information about the Student Health and Wellness, we recommend you review the powerpoint Laura Fariss, director of student health services, presented at the Student Senate meeting on March 3.

Overall the department does phenomenal work, but if its proposal doesn’t pass, then some of its goods and services will have to be cut back.

This is a situation where the slightest amount of help will make a significant difference in the lives of our students.

We hope the Board of Trustees supports the fee increase and we encourage students to take advantage of the department’s goods and services.

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