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Sick on Sunday? Suck it Up!

Students can find the University on the weekends to be at its all-time quietest since many pack up their bags and head out until the start of classes again on Monday. Over the course of the weekend, students like me have adjusted to these cold, hard facts: the Dining Hall hours are shortened, Java City coffees and Einstein Bagels are inaccessible, the gym closes at 4:00 pm on Saturday, and almost anywhere you walk on campus grounds is deserted.

I do not mind the shortened hours at the Dining Hall, and a run to the beach is more of my style then using the treadmill or elliptical. As much as I would love an iced pumpkin latte from Java City on a Sunday morning, I can be happy boiling my own cup of coffee in my kitchen. However, what is not exactly “my cup of tea” is that the Health Center closes at 5:00 pm on Friday and does not reopen until 9:00 am on Monday.

Fall weather is here, bringing with it the sniffling noses, head colds, sore throats, and allergies for many students. For those of us that do not have a vehicle on campus, a friend with a vehicle, or a way to get home for a weekend, I find it to be very frustrating that our campus’s access to nurses and medicine is closed, especially if we are sick.

Sure, the Hawk’s Nest in the Student Center is open for students to buy cough medicine or even a bottle of orange juice to help us get through the day. However, I believe it is much more comforting, especially for first-year students, to have a place to go, a professional to speak with, and proper treatment and medicine to help them feel well during the weekend if they are sick.

From personal experience, lying in bed all weekend waiting for my body to recuperate does not work as well as I always hope. There have been weekends when I could not get home, could not get to Walgreens, and did not have medicine that could best cure my cough. I am positive that most students have had, or will have, the unfortunate experience of getting sick while being away from home. Shouldn’t there be a place where we can go?

If the University could open the Health Center even for a few hours during the morning or afternoon on Saturdays and Sundays, students who are sick and stuck in the dorms for the weekend would have access to people and medicines that will help them get well

Besides, if students are not able to take care of their sickness over the weekend, they will be disadvantaged during the school week filled with classes and extracurricular activities. Even if they decide to brave through class, those around them may catch a cold and be left with the same situation the next weekend.

On a further note, this is a college environment, and weekend nights do happen. Disregarding where people go, who they meet, and what they do, it is important that the Health Center services be available for safety purposes.

I am in no way encouraging any unsafe behaviors; I am supporting my own belief that if a student feels uneasy about last night’s actions, then he or she should have a place on campus to go to speak with a nurse or doctor.

I strongly believe that a few hours dedicated to our students on the weekends at the Health Center will offer a more positive outlook on campus accessibilities, will help students get the medical attention they need, will be a backbone for students’ needs, and will help parents feel more comfortable leaving their child on campus during the weekends.