Health Center director talks charges
Published: Thursday, February 6, 2014
Updated: Thursday, February 6, 2014 00:02
Student Health Services answered questions at Wednesday’s Student Senate meeting in regards to the proposed $5 visitation charge for normal visits to Beutel that may be implemented as early as June 2014.
Dr. Martha Dannenbaum, Student Health Center director, said she preferred the visitation charge as opposed to increasing the Health Center fee of $72.50.
Dannenbaum said the visitation charge would be applied to the approximately two-thirds of annual Beutel visits that do not already have charges attached to them.
“Right now, we have about 60,000 visits per year on average, and about 20,000 of those already have some sort of charge associated with it,” Dannenbaum said. “The other 40,000 visits, though, don’t have anything associated with it.”
Dannenbaum said the $5 charge would add approximately $200,000 to the SHS’ $9,000,000 annual budget.
Jason Wood, senior political science major, asked why the $5 amount was chosen.
“That is a number that was given to me by the vice president’s office,” Dannenbaum said. “The $5 is more of a place holder.”
Dannenbaum said the charge is likely to increase in coming years.
“That is probably what would happen because, as you know, $5 is nothing,” Dannenbaum said.
Cary Cheshire, senior political science major, asked where the $200,000 in increased revenue would be applied.
“The most likely thing that this will go towards is our building with building renewal, renovations and that sort of thing,” Dannenbaum said.
Student Senate unanimously passed a bill which requests financial assistance for the enlargement of the West Campus Library.
Student Senate passed a bill requesting Chartwells provide more vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meal options.
Michael Dror, College of Liberal Arts senator, said Chartwells should address the needs of students who have dietary restrictions for health, religious and personal reasons.
Other Student Senators disagreed with the dining bill and argued Chartwells had enough problems providing service to the majority of students without dietary restrictions.
Chris Woolsey, junior political science major, said he was in favor of providing more gluten-free options but did not see a great need for more vegetarian or vegan options.
“I know a lot of people who have expressed concern about there not being enough gluten-free options on campus and I think that is something that we need to address because that is a valued health concern that we need to accommodate for,” Woolsey said. “Whereas with vegetarian and vegan meals, I think it is pretty easy to just pull the chicken off the taco if you don’t want to eat it.”
The 59 Hour Bill failed, which would have allowed students to register for a class if they were on the verge of classification requirements. Student Senators raised concerns whether this regulation would affect ticket pull priorities and the 90 hour requirement for Aggie rings.
Student Senate also passed the Maroon and Orange Act, which seeks to renew the rivalry between Texas A&M and the University of Texas.
Student Senate passed a bill which increases the number of seats in next year’s Student Senate due to increased enrollment. Two seats were added to the off-campus caucus, one was added to the Mays School of Business caucus, one was added to the Engineering caucus and one was added to the College of Science caucus. One seat was removed from the Transition Academic Programs caucus, which previously was called the General Studies caucus. These seats will be voted on in the upcoming student body elections.
Student Senate’s next meeting is Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in Koldus 144.