Committee approves 2.84 percent increase for health fee

Alyssa Elso/Staff Writer

The health fee committee passed an 2.84 percent health fee increase on March 28 to assist Student Health Services in providing better healthcare to students. The new services will be offered in the summer semester with another $10.50 tacked on to the health fee students already pay.

 “University Health Services asked for a 2.84 percent increase, as opposed to the 5 percent increase they could have asked for,” said Andrew Black, assistant director of student affairs for Recreational Services and member of the committee. “The 2.84 percent increase will approximately amount to $10.50 per student, per semester.”

 The Committee passed the increase in a 6-0 unanimous vote. Students present at the meeting provided positive feedback prompting the committee to approve the increase.

“Ten dollars isn’t much of an increase for all of the new services that they are going to provide,” said Ashley Aguiar, sophomore architecture major. “I’m usually on campus until really late, and having the option to get 24/7 care would be extremely beneficial.”

 According to Black, new services will include a rise in nurses’ salaries, around-the-clock clinical service, increased physician hours at the Biscayne Bay Campus, funding to provide Health Campus 20/20 Suicide Prevention along with threat assessment planning, piloting an emergency fund for students with psychotropic medication needs and an additional wellness coordinator position that will focus on strategic program planning.

 “In order to meet the accreditation compliance, we will contract out an after hours service that will provide students with 24/7 health service,” said Oscar Loynaz, director of University Health Services.

 Students with disabilities will benefit from the increase because the Disability Resource Center will be hiring an additional disability consultant to help track student academic process and improve graduation time.

“They will by adhering to the national best practices standard of 300 students to each disability consultant ratio as opposed to the current 400 to 1,” Black said.

This is the first time in three years that the health fee is being increased, helping to fund many new services to further benefit student health care.