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Campus briefs


Over the summer, Guardsmark, LLC, was hired as security for the Mills campus. Existing Mills security guards were given the option of working for Guardsmark. Guardmark is a private security service specializing in the licensing and training of public safety officers. “We are confident that Guardsmark will provide us with an invaluable service which will support our commitment to provide our Mills College women and men with a safe and secure campus environment,” said Elizabeth Burwell in a student notice.


The Writing Center has been moved from Stern Hall to the Rothwell Student Center, rooms C and D. Beginning Sept. 6, students can get assistance Monday through Thursday 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.


The annual fund is now under the auspices of the Office of Institutional Advancement, and the Alumnae Association of Mills College is receiving its yearly operating budget from the College, under an agreement reached over the summer. After nearly a year of negotiations, the AAMC and Board of Trustees have settled an often hostile situation, with the AAMC retaining its 501(c)(3) status as a nonprofit, though no longer able to raise funds for its own operations. Under the agreement, donations to OIA may still be designated toward the AAMC.


Mills debuted this year on the Best 361 Colleges list from Princeton Review, voted one of the best institutions for undergraduate education. The College also topped the “Students Leaning Most to the Left” list, a.k.a. “Students Most Nostalgic for Bill Clinton,” and was 16th on the “Most Politically Active” list. Rankings are based on “student assessments of their personal political views.”


Over 230 freshwomen and 140 transfer students have started at Mills this fall bringing the total number of undergraduate students to 851, up from 762 last year. “The simple answer [to why],” said President Janet Holmgren, “is hard work on the part of all members of the Mills community.” Holmgren said she believes Mills could accommodate up to 1,000 undergraduates and 550-600 graduate students.


Renovation and new construction on the Life Sciences Building will begin this month, with a groundbreaking ceremony following Convocation.


For the first time since Mills has offered a health plan to students, dental insurance through MetLife has been added to the Mills Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). Health Program Director Cynthia Turner has been working on implementing a dental plan at Mills for some time. “This really came from students continually asking me about dental coverage and low cost dental care in the area,” she said.

The plan, meant to be a secondary source of coverage after your primary dental insurance, covers 100 percent of preventative services and 80 percent of operative and restorative services. This includes two oral exams and two cleanings a year as well as x-rays and a fluoride treatment. The plan does not cover major services such as crowns. According to the dental insurance frequently asked questions, other major services cannot be determined by Mills staff and it’s advised that students get a pre-treatment estimate before any work is done.

Turner also said that students’ health insurance fees increased by approximately 15 to 20 percent over the 2004-2005 school year. She stressed that this is competitive and less expensive than several other colleges in the area. During her planning process, Turner contacted other institutions such as UC Berkeley and found that they don’t offer dental insurance to their students and students at that college pay significantly more for health insurance.

Turner also wanted to encourage students to take advantage of the basic medical benefits that all students have (whether or not they sign up for SHIP) and to visit the Tang Center if they need care. Students without dental insurance should also come see her for a list of low cost dental providers in the surrounding area, for instance Highland Hospital offers tooth extractions for the first 36 patients that arrive at the clinic each morning. Fees are based on income.

Dental insurance cards will not be distributed to students. To find dentists who accept MetLife call 888-384-5155, or visit The group numbers for students are: undergraduates, 104891-1, graduates,10489-2. Please contact Cynthia Turner, health program director, at 510-430-2119 for more information.