Marquette Wire

Survey addresses health fee

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The Business and Government Committee, including Hermanny, off-campus senators Brett Blomme and Ross Guerin, College of Business senator Jaclyn Jensen and Mashuda senator Annie Nolan, drafted the survey.

The survey results will be presented to the Rev. Andy Thon, vice president of student affairs, and the University Budget Committee, said Kate Agnew, MUSG president.

Dana Mills, director of SHS, said he prefers that an independent source would conduct the survey.

“Faculty have conducted surveys for us in the past and have conducted focus groups and pretests to make sure the questions are understood correctly,” Mills said. “But I don’t question the motivation of MUSG. They drive student discussion.”

Thon said the survey could help.

“It is just part of the input that would come in (to my office),” he said.

Agnew said the survey is a way to make students aware of the additional programs. She said she was not aware of these proposed services until the final meeting of the Health Fee Review Committee, which met to discuss the amount by which the student health fee should increase.

According to Agnew, student representatives on the HFRC did not have a chance to talk to students about the addition of the two new services before voting to approve them, and she said she questioned where the idea to implement these services originated.

“It seemed the additional costs and programs were coming from the staff of Student Health Service rather than student demand,” Agnew said.

Mills said the tobacco cessation program and dietician hours came up late in the health fee review meetings, but also said these programs were discussed last year and should have come as no surprise to many of the students present for the proposal.

The tobacco cessation program was suggested as a way to suggest what the Surgeon General calls the No. 1 health issue on college campuses, Mills said, and as a response to past surveys that have indicated 25-30 percent of Marquette students smoke.

“With local health status, local survey results, and a national trend, SHS looks to move forward by implementing the tobacco cessation program,” Mills said.

SHS has also adjusted the amount by which the undergraduate health fee is projected to increase next year; instead of $7, it will be $3-4, according to Mills.

Mills said the student enrollment used to project the fee increase was refigured and called the updated recommendation “good news.”

“We refigured it after we discussed the fee increase at higher levels and refine the recommendation as we go along,” Mills said.

The fee is currently $127 per semester, and the $3-4 increase each semester covers not only the two new services but inflation as well.

This amount is still under discussion, Thon said, and could possibly be even lower.

Mills said he will review the HFRC’s recommendation when discussions conclude and make any necessary changes. The recommendation will go to Thon and Linda Lee, associate vice president of student affairs, and finally to Greg Kliebhan, senior vice president and the University Budget Committee.

Mills does not know when Thon and Lee’s decision concerning the proposed budget will come, but said he senses the decision will be made before the holiday.

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