Student Health Services Need Patching Up

There are many times that I’ve had serious doubts about how well Seattle University spends its money (which is, in no small part, our money as students) but no instance of incredulity compares to this past Thursday afternoon. I stood and watched the logo of our university literally burn to the ground as a part of homecoming festivities as I, too, burned up—from a fever. I had strep throat, but hadn’t yet seen a doctor, let alone gotten any antibiotics, because a few hours earlier, the Student Health Center cancelled my appointment for the second day in a row. As I watched the flames, the metaphor of our money being set on fire was not lost on me.

So what’s the deal, SU? How is it that we can have pyrotechnics at our homecoming parade, but we can’t afford a functioning Student Health Center or CAPS?

To clarify, my issue isn’t with the wonderful staff of our student services. They are kind, dedicated people who, when you can actually get an appointment, are incredibly helpful. My issue is that you need to put your health issue on hold for a week (or a few, with CAPS) until you can see somebody. Then, if a staff member is out sick, their role doesn’t get filled and all of their appointments get cancelled.

Of all things on campus to short on funding, why CAPS and the Health Center? They provide services to the student body that are important and in high demand. I missed two full days of classes because I was forced to wait for medical attention, and my sickness wasn’t nearly as debilitating as others. The situation at CAPS is worse, though it’s needed just as much, and promoted constantly to RAs such as myself as a resource for others. There are few things on campus as deserving of proper funding as these student services.

I do understand that funding is perpetually tight and the cost of running a university is on the rise. At least, that’s what I read in the Spectator the other week. From what I’ve seen of University spending, we seem to have money to burn—literally. And the flaming logo is just one item on my Favorite Uses of Tuition Money list. Other highlights include the giant metal cube outside the gym, the 125th banner hanging from Bellarmine that’s mostly obscured by trees, and of course, our $900k Jesuit hangout on Beaver Lake.

Look, I’m not asking for a fully-functioning emergency room on campus, nor for Dr. Phil to head CAPS. But the students at Seattle University deserve health services adequately suited to meet our needs. This isn’t an issue created by my fever dreams, it’s one pointed out by them.

– Sam Schultheis, Digital Media Coordinator