With 2,400 undergraduate students milling about Main Campus daily, we are undoubtedly going to spread illnesses to each other just as frequently as we eat cheesesteaks.
Luckily, we’ve got a brand new, amazingly-equipped Student Health Services center in the new 1800 block of Liacouras Walk. This impressive facility looks and functions like a hospital and offers an array of services and medications for free that students would normally have to receive from an outside physician.
However, the facility has the most inadequate hours of operation of any on campus, rendering it as merely a program with great potential.
SHS is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Its closing hours on weekdays are too early. It’s wrong to think that no one will need attention after 6 p.m.
Most classes end at 3:30 p.m., but some students work after that time, so when would they have time to get to SHS before 6 p.m.? An ideal time to close on weekdays would be at 10 p.m.
When SHS was stationed in the basement of Mitten Hall, it closed at 5:15 p.m. on weekdays and 6 p.m. on Wednesdays. More importantly, there were no weekend hours. That’s not exactly what we would call a well-organized institution.
Enduring great change this semester, SHS extended its hours and have even added weekend hours. Yet praise for this improvement can only go so far.
It’s great that management has acknowledged the need for weekend hours, but these times are nowhere near sufficient. Weekends would be the best time for busy students to take advantage of health services.
The TECH Center is open 24 hours a day during every day of the week besides Saturday (and it even has hours then).
Not that computer services aren’t important to supply to students, but it is ridiculous that Temple makes the TECH Center available almost the entire week, while health services pale in comparison.
Mark Denys, assistant director of SHS, noted that it would probably take another million dollars to make SHS a 24-hour-a-day operation.
When we called SHS last Saturday to ask about thoughts toward extending operation hours, we were kept on hold for 10 minutes. Upon calling back and refusing to hold again, the operator said it was due to only one doctor being on staff.
Denys said the Saturday staff would remain the same until more students begin utilizing the hours. He noted that the average intake on Saturdays have been six students and that SHS has been trying hard to get the word out regarding its new hours to incite more intakes.
Denys also said that there are no current plans to further extend SHS’s hours. The staff is waiting to end this semester to evaluate how their performance can be improved.
Temple is constantly driving toward a more residential campus – the building of Avenue North, installation of an on-campus video store, etc. It’s providing all the amenities that we would find in a regular community. But extremely limited health services? Doesn’t make much sense.
The Avenue North movie theater will undoubtedly have better hours.