Credit: http://www.explorebigsky.com/health-wellness-special-section
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Are CUNY Students Going to See the Effects of the Health and Wellness Fee?

The CUNY Board of Trustees has voted to increase the tuition once again, this time by $120, putting the extra money towards health and wellness resources. The resources will be put towards facilities such as mental health counseling, women’s healthcare products, and more. Having more resources on campus, a place that’s supposed to be a “home away from home” is going to be a big improvement, but students are demanding to see the changes. 

“Right now we have STD testing, flu shots, and other routine vaccinations, pain relievers. We’re able to check blood pressure, temperature, and do pregnancy tests,” said Kalua, the Queens College mental health center’s office assistant. “We’re hoping to use the money to get a physician’s assistant or a nurse practitioner to give a better diagnosis and maybe get birth control.” As of right now, the school has a lot of resources on campus, but the mental health center is to be said the one getting the bulk of the money because they are understaffed, Kalua said. 

But there’s also the Peer Counseling in the Student Union, full of student-counselors ready to listen to fellow students that may be struggling. On top of that, a full-time New York State resident student pays $3,465 for each semester, and the students who dorm have to pay extra on top of that. An employee at the QC Bursar’s office said that every fall, the tuition gets raised by $100 for the NY State resident and on top of that dorming costs up to $6,000-$7,000 dollars. 

So if CUNY students are being charged with a $120 health and wellness fee, they have to see the improvements on campus. For those who don’t get enough financial aid, or even qualify for programs to help with tuition, that money could be well-spent on books and supplies. Some books for classes cost up to hundreds of dollars.  

The Affordable Care Act allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26, and in some cases, people stay in school until they reach that age. QC students also benefit from having the Planned Parenthood van in front of the Student Union that gives additional resources as well. 

As a student who spends most of her time on campus, I’d like to see it be brought to my attention that these resources are being put to good use on campus. I didn’t know until today that I could get pain relievers and routine vaccinations on campus but I do get emails regarding the free STD and HIV testing. I believe I should be aware of these resources and since we now have to pay an additional fee on top of tuition, we should see these changes as they come because nothing is more upsetting than spending money on something that doesn’t change. We got bills and we got to get them paid. 

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