March 2013
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Winter Woes

So, one of the worst things about winter is the bugs run rampant and everyone gets sick at some point. These week, a nasty stomach virus went around the campus and a lot of students got sick. However, I was actually really impressed with how the school handled the virus and how quick they were to respond to make sure that every student could get treated and get healthy as quickly as they could.

One of the first steps the school took was to tell students the symptoms and to warn everyone that the virus seemed to be highly contagious so that students could take extra precautions against getting sick. They also posted posters and signs all over campus with a list of the symptoms and how to handle the virus if they should get sick. It was a smart move and helped the first students to get sick know what their stomachs would be able to handle. The virus was nasty but many students got through the worst of the symptoms after the first 24 hours and then just had to wait for the rest to subside. Even so, the Wellness Center warned faculty to expect a lot of absences and waived the need of a wellness center note so that students who did not feel up to walking all the way to the wellness center could stay warm in bed.

Another step the school took was to add soap to some of the buildings that were normally expected to provide their own and also paper towels. It is just to help cut down on germs even more and a lot of students were glad to see this step taken. The school also created a sick tray option in glar so that students who might still be sick or contagious could get food delivered to them if they needed to in order to reduce exposure to healthy students and allow the sick student to rest more. It showed a lot of dedication on the part of the Wellness Center, Res Life, and Campus Safety. The Wellness Center also stayed open much later than normal so that students could be treated there if they needed to see a doctor quickly or just wanted to make sure they weren’t too dehydrated. The RAs and Area Coordinators reached out to all of the students who got sick in order to see how they were recovering and to check if there was anything the school could do in order to help them feel better sooner. I was one of the students who fell ill and I was sleeping when my Area Coordinator called me, so I never answered the phone, so I got an email as well. It was really nice how many people just checked in to make sure everyone was recovering and knew that they had resources that were willing to help.

Students also were a big help during the worst of the virus. A lot of friends spent time fetching food for their friends, getting them medicine from the local pharmacy, even just sitting with them in the Wellness Center. It was a nasty virus but it showed me just how much potential this community has to support one another that when this bug did go around everyone banded together and helped the students get through it as quickly and painlessly as possible.

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