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Mills is past due for a women’s health center on campus

As an undergraduate women’s institution, Mills College should provide for our basic health needs. We are the women who spend two to five years of our lives here-calling Mills home in every sense of the word. To be successful academically, socially, and athletically, we need to stay healthy.

We should not have to travel to the University of California at Berkeley’s Tang Center to receive basic medical treatment that the College should be providing on campus.

The reality is that many students do not go to the Tang Center when they otherwise would do so, because the idea of spending over an hour in transit and having to depend on the shuttle’s schedule is not only inconvenient but overwhelming. Plus, when a student has a contagious ailment, getting on the shuttle is not only stressful but endangers the health of other students. Why should students pay nearly one thousand dollars per semester for health insurance they rarely use because of accessibility issues?

At the April 9 roundtable discussion on a possible women’s resource center, student representatives from Choice USA outlined their vision for the center. It was an impressive presentation with modest requests, including basic facilities. They advocated for information and resources to be available concerning reproduction, contraception, sexual and domestic violence, nutrition, body image, and peer counseling.

Although we applaud the efforts of Choice USA and others to establish a critically needed women’s resource center, we question why the College has not provided one already-one which provides such resources, as well as more thorough medical services .

Why should students have to advocate so relentlessly to receive just a small resource center, staffed by peers? Why isn’t the College already providing a full-fledged health clinic, with physicals, vaccinations, and other forms of primary care from registered nurses and on-call clinicians? Other women’s colleges do.

While the athletic training rooms provide some needs to student athletes, it is obviously exclusive to who it serves, and provides only a part of the services that a medical facility ideally would.
And if a women’s resource center is put into place, it should be funded by the college itself, not from student activities fees. ASMC is currently working with students in spearheading the effort to gain space for a health center, exerting effort for a problem that college officials should be addressing.

Although the College has cancelled the Nursing Leadership Institute, there is still great irony in a college that offers a pre-nursing certificate but does not offer healthcare that truly meets the needs of its students.

We not only endorse Choice USA’s efforts to create a women’s resource center, but demand that the College provide one.