Proposed new Student Health Center to include new benefits, pending student vote
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 01:10
This fall, students will have a voice in deciding on two projects for campus expansion, including a new Student Health Center.
The proposed reconstruction will be in the hands of Sam Houston students through a referendum attached to the 2012 Homecoming ballot on Oct. 16 and 17.
If approved, the referendum will raise student health fees by $37 to $75. This will make the amount of student health fees at SHSU just below the average fee in the state of Texas.
According to a statement from the university, the proposed Student Health and Counseling Center Expansion Project includes an approximately 28,000-square feet, two-story building in an empty lot where King Hall one stood that would house the Student Health Center and Counseling Center.
The staff at the current health center hopes that students approve the construction of a brand new building to accommodate the expanding student population.
According to Frieda Turner, health center nurse, the space at the current SHC isn’t adequate enough for the student body.
Due to the high volume of clinic visits, the current capacity of female visits is limited to four per doctor, per day. This does not satisfy the overwhelming amount of students needing medical attention.
SHSU has offered a health center to its students since 1965 when it was built to serve about 5,700 students. The building has not seen any reconstruction or renovation since then, and is currently staffed with four providers and five nurses.
With a student body of about 18,000 this fall, an expanded facility would allow more efficient personal care through a 24-hour nursing and counseling line, expanded general medical services, and zero co-pay for students.
Other improvements for the new center include a walk-up pharmacy window, in-house radiology, expanded women’s health services, extended hours and same-day appointments.
Andrew Filicky, sophomore computer programming major, says that the need of these services is long overdue.
"I think [the new services are] everything the campus should have had," Filicky said.
Filicky will only be able to use the new facility for his senior year, but his ideology toward the future is one that Turner would agree with.
"Anything to help the future students coming in would be fine by me," he said.
Turner urges students to vote "yes" on the referendum sent to them on October 16th.
Once approved by students the new SHC is expected to be completed by the fall of 2014.