I would like to formally address an email I received from a staff member concerning my article about our lack of a nurse on campus and a lack of resources in the surrounding area.
First, I would like to address the immediate concern: OSF and their practices on STD testing. I interviewed several students, of which none were willing or able to visit OSF based on their past treatment of marginalized students. However, OSF does offer STD testing, though it isn’t free. Whether or not students feel comfortable going to OSF is a different story, however. This is why Monmouth is hosting an event on April 15th from 5-7PM in the Huff Athletic Center providing free STD testing.
As I mentioned in my previous article, finding a sex-positive clinic in the area is nearly impossible. Students may not feel comfortable in a religiously affiliated clinic. I also spoke with Stephanie Kinkaid, who told me that while OSF provides STD testing, they do not provide prescriptions for birth control. This is a challenge for those of us who may want to begin using oral contraceptives or getting the birth control shot.
I’ve also been told that students can be tested at the Warren County Health Department which is located at 240 South Main St. They said that this costs $25. If you’re a student who needs to be tested and who has $25 to spare, this is a valuable resource for you. In Galesburg, the Family Planning Service of Western Illinois can provide treatment and testing for a reduced cost. These are both good options and I would like to thank the staff member for letting me know. However, the main focus of my article was about the lack of a nurse on campus, and I do want to address the concerns more in depth in this article.
My sister attends another small private liberal arts college in Wisconsin, and they have a nurse on campus. She has gone to get prescriptions for recurring ear infections, and they provide a number of other services for students, like checking for sprains, checking for sinus infections, identifying Strep, and providing first aid. This is a needed option for students at Monmouth.
Even if a student has transportation, they risk missing class in order to get to the clinic they need to visit. If they don’t have transportation, then they are in a situation like a friend of mine, who I accompanied to the hospital with a friend because our mutual friend has a car and was willing to miss class to make sure we were alright. These incidences can be prevented and attendance would not be impacted if a nurse were located in Stockdale or even Poling Hall. I urge students to inquire about getting a nurse on campus.