A couple weeks before the start of the Fall semester, I incurred an injury during a walk near my house. It was in my best interest that the injury get looked at right away, so I called the Health Center on Campus. Upon dialing the number, I got a message that the facilities were closed but I could leave a message at a different number. I tried out the new number and actually spoke to someone there, Tracy. I let her know of my situation and she said she would see if anyone was on campus who could help me out. Unfortunately, I was told no one was on campus to help me with my wound, but that I could call back when they opened on Monday, August 16.
I am a transfer student, that lives about a mile off campus. I lost my job due to covid, and as a result, my insurance. So I’ve relied on the campus to help me with any health needs when necessary. As I drove to urgent care (having a slight meltdown with a close friend over the phone) I realized how inconvenient and unsafe it is that there is not one nurse practitioner on the Humboldt State University campus to care and treat for any students, faculty or staff should there be a need when we are on break.
For the upcoming fall semester my health service fee is $333 and my health facilities fee is $33. I have no doubt that this helps cover the cost of services and facilities during summer and winter break. I feel I deserve a bit more transparency as to where this money is going, if I don’t have access to care, yet I am helping keep the lights on. As a Humboldt University student, I can use my student ID for perks, discounts and public transportation throughout the year, even during summer breaks. Why is there a disparity in my access to healthcare on campus when we are between semesters?
Not everyone leaves Humboldt County between semesters. During off seasons, sports teams utilize the facilities, incoming freshman visit the campus and current students still utilize programs like Oh Snap! This year, early housing check in began on Saturday, August 14, two days before the Health Center would be available to students. When I called the health office on Wednesday, August 18 to make an appointment for the vaccine clinic, I got sent to voicemail. I am still awaiting a call back.
I expect that if I am paying the amount of tuition that I am, It is imperative that I receive the option to care year round. During a global pandemic, when care is harder to come by, it should be made simple for the University’s students to receive it. I implore the Health Center, as well as Humboldt Administration, to provide more information to it’s students and staff about what options are available to us, what services are provided and rethink our accessibility to said services, so we can be cared for year round. This would provide holistic understanding of us not just as students, but real people, who use our breaks to recharge before entering another semester.