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North Bay / Marin | Education & Student Activism

Sonoma State University Over Charges for Health Care
by Cameron
Tuesday Dec 11th, 2012 12:07 PM
Many students on campuses across the state are outraged with the price of their California State University tuition and fees. Most students don’t know how this money is allocated once it goes into the system. This article discusses students perceptions of the Health Center at Sonoma State
In the 2011-2012 school year, University of Sonoma State students paid a total of $344 annually in tuition-based fees for the student health center. This was the second highest in health center fees behind Humboldt State University at $388 annually. Our Investigative Sociology group planned to gather quantitative information through surveys, statistic, and interviewing to see whether paying such a high number was really a necessary cost for students.
The Health Services fees have raised $212 since the 2002/2003 school year. At Sonoma State, students are paying 35% more in Mandatory Campus fees than the CSU average. Students are being charged $300 for the new student center, while only being charged a mear $100 for the Mental Health fee. So what are these fees actually going to and what does our campus need to pay off? Out of the nine major projects that added to the campus debt, 7 were from the Housing sector totaling more than $200,000,000. The summary from “SSU Midterm Evaluation” claims “SSU’s Administrators continue to divert funding from teaching and learning to debt and development.”

In terms of the Health Center at Sonoma State, it is important to get students reactions to it and show them how much they are really paying. Also to really understand what services are available to them and if the school is doing all it can to provide information for students about the health center and services. After conducting 394 individual surveys with a 90% confidence interval, we learned that 272 students had been to the health center at least once. Overall satisfaction with the health center was high but a majority of the students (68%) felt that they are not able to take advantage of the cost of health care at SSU. Students were greatly unaware of the cost and services at the student health center. They said that the school did not do an adequate job at providing students with health center information.
Overall the health center seems to be providing students with good health care but it doesn’t appear to be worth the cost that the students are paying. Almost no one knew how much we are really paying for the student health services. With the majority of students not using CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) that means the majority of the population is paying for something they are not using.