Committee takes tentative vote

By Pam Schmidt

The President’s Fee Review Committee tentatively voted Thursday to pass the recommended $2.04 per semester fee increase for the University Health Service.

All three student committee members abstained from the tentative vote to approve the proposed 11-cent increase for a chlamydia testing program.

“My biggest concern is that we get enough student input on the fee increase as we can. I’m not going to lock myself into anything before I have all the facts,” Student Association President Jim Fischer said.

The health center plans to begin a chlamydia screening program if the funds are approved, said Dana Mills, assistant director of administration for the health center.

“Chlamydia testing is a service that is important enough to be needed,” Fischer said. “It’s a valuable service to students.”

About 15 percent of NIU students are affected by the disease, Mills said. The results were tabulated from a trial two-month chlamydia screening program last semester.

About 92 percent of the people who tested positively for chlamydia were found to be a-symptomatic, which means they do not show signs of carrying the disease, Mills said.

National statistics estimate the chlamydia rate for college students, ages 18 to 23, to be about 15 percent also, Mills said.

The health center currently emphasizes the need for prevention. In the case of chlamydia, however, it is a two-fold problem, Mills said.

“We can’t stamp out sex, and we don’t want to spend $50,000 on screening every time,” Mills said.

Mills said by screening, promoting health education programs and keeping track of statistics for reviewing purposes the problem might be alleviated in the future.

The screening program might cut the number of cases in half, he said.

“I question the fact that we should pay this much money for 15 percent of the student body,” said SA Treasurer Lisa Schlepp.

Phil Wells, associate dean for the college of visual and performing arts, said, “We are talking about general life on campus.”

Two student committee members also abstained from a vote to approve a 4-cent increase which would be used to hire a systems programmer analyst.

Although the health center currently has several microcomputers, much of the work still is done manually, Mills said. The health center would like to generate internal information systems to keep track of information generated from various clinics and the administration, he said.

“We can’t get sophisticated without the support,” he said.

Currently, Mills estimated the return time on information as four to six weeks.

One student committee member abstained from the tentative vote to approve a 2-cent increase which would have provided additional staff support in the gynecology clinic.

The number of patients visiting the gynecology clinic has risen 12 percent since the 1985-86 school year, Mills said.