This election, Student Health Services will ask students again for additional funding in the face of impending University budget cuts.
A fee initiative in next week’s Associated Students elections calls for an increase in the Student Health lock-in fee from $12 per student per quarter to $19. Student Health has requested similar increases in each of the last two years but fallen short. Last year, 61.5 percent of students approved an $8 per-student per-quarter increase – just short of the 66.67 percent required to pass the initiative.
Student Health spokeswoman Aleisa Pfau said it has not received a fee increase since 1991.
“Since then, because of medical inflation, costs have skyrocketed,” she said. “Each year we just keep hobbling along. And we need the money now because there’s going to be big budget cuts next year. We don’t know how big yet, but we’ve been told they are coming.”
Pfau said the fee increase would not mean new services at Student Health.
“We’re not adding anything,” she said. “We need it now just to maintain all the services we already provide to students.”
Student Health services include urgent care, psychiatry, women’s health, orthopedics, dermatology, immunizations, counseling, eye care, dental care and physical therapy.
Pfau said Student Health has seen a general increase in the amount of students who use the center.
“We’ve seen a little more this year,” she said. “There has been a steady increase over the years.”
Pfau said she was unsure if enough students would change their minds from the past two years to approve the initiative.
“I have no idea [if it will pass],” she said. “I can only hope.”
Several students said they were willing to incur the additional fees.
“I haven’t really used Student Health that much, but it’s nice to know it’s there,” senior philosophy major Rick Usher said. “You never know when a disaster might happen.”
Senior English major Matthew Abrams agreed.
“If it’s just a money thing, I won’t hesitate to help out,” he said. “Seven more bucks is nothing to me.”