Last week in an e-mail, University President Joanne Glasser said she deemed it “inevitable” H1N1, also known as the swine flu virus, will hit our campus.
She informed students of a precautionary plan to control swine flu called the three C’s: clean, cover, contain.
And while creating wellness stations to include hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes demonstrates the university is taking this seriously, it will take an effort on behalf of the student body to ensure these tools are being used.
Since it’s the beginning of the year, there may be many new students who are not used to fully taking caring of themselves, or there could be returning students who are not responsible enough to do something as simple as wash their hands after they go to the bathroom or go to the doctor when they feel sick.
The university has already cleared out the third floor of Wendle Hall for students who become sick and administrators have said if the need arises it is possible the health center will have extended hours. The deans of all the colleges have also implemented relaxed attendance policies so students feel less pressure missing class if they are truly sick.
It’s clear to us the university has spared no expense and cut no corners in taking action against this illness.
However, what’s not clear is how seriously the students will take responsibility for themselves and each other.
The swine flu may have been made a circus by the media and may not escalate to expected levels, but it is still a concern.
With suggestions as easy as washing your hands and not going to class when you feel sick, students should have no problems meeting the university half-way in this plan.
It will be easier to disinfect a keyboard now than have to wear a mask while waiting for your mom to come drive you home in a few weeks.
If you have any concern you may be ill, go to the health center. However, do not use this potential pandemic as an excuse for having too much to drink the night before your class or forgetting to do your homework.
It isn’t fair to those who may actually be sick for some students’ lack of concern to ruin these privileges.
Unlike the regular flu, college students are the perfect victims for swine flu.
In the last week alone, colleges reporting to the American College Health Association have reported 4,045 new cases of swine flu – a 93.1 percent increase from the week prior.
Seventy-three percent of reporting colleges had new cases, and the new case rate is 16.8 per 10,000 students.
Didn’t take Glasser’s e-mail seriously when she said it was “inevitable” to hit our campus?
According to this survey, we’re lucky to not already be infected. Let’s do everything we can to keep it this way.