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Changes to Campus Safety hospital procedures made after ASWU, students voice concerns

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

Remy Gottschling

Staff writer

outside the salem hospital, signs say heroes work here are posted
Photo taken outside Salem's hospital. Photo by Grace Shiffrin.

Associated Students of Willamette University (ASWU) senators from the class of 2024 sent an email to the Reopening Operations Committee, Executive Steering Committee and the leaders of student services voicing concerns about transparency regarding the hospital visitation policy that was in place. Among the concerns in the September 23 email was a claimed failure on the hands of administration to “to adequately amend the hospital and emergency room visitation policies for the current COVID-19 crisis.”

The senators compiled a list of suggested changes that include requiring “Campus Security to inform students, regardless of the hour, what pertinent information, documentation, and/or identification they should bring with them to the Emergency Room,” and requiring “Campus Security to physically direct students to the Emergency Room or building in question, as well as prepare and aid students for the process of checking-in, filling out paperwork, and expectations for the following steps upon admission.”

“Students are very unclear about the steps that they need to take, and that's very concerning to us,” said class of 2024 ASWU Senator Zeke Druker, “Our main concern is students not really knowing how to get care and not knowing where those resources are.”

“Willamette likes to pride itself on all of the resources that they have available for students on campus,” said class of 2024 ASWU senator Inez Nieves, who is also a staff writer for the Collegian. “Yet they tend to be really unclear on how to actually access and use the resources, and that causes a lot of unnecessary confusion.”

Senator Nieves met with members of the Housing office, administration and the Reopening Committee last week to voice the concerns that ASWU and other students had. “In the meeting we discussed changes that were being planned, what sort of documents and information were going to be distributed to students, and what some new processes were going to look like,” said Senator Nieves. Some of these new policy changes include a revamped communication line between Area Coordinators from the housing office and campus security to ensure students get to and from the hospital safely, as well as dedicated support from a campus safety representative for students interacting with the healthcare system on their own for the first time.

One of these new changes is still a work in progress—a policy guide that is being developed by Vice President of Student Affairs Lisa Landreman. The guideline is split into sections that describe what to bring, what to do when you arrive, what to do when you see your doctor, how to get back onto campus and where to go for further help after the fact. “We plan to put all of this updated information on the website as well as email it out to all students in the Today@Willamette weekly bulletin,” said Landreman, “We hope this will clear as much confusion as possible and will help students if the situation ever does arrive, and we are continuing to find new ways to get information out to students.”

“It’s important to note that this is still very much a work in progress,” says Senator Nieves, “But a very important groundwork has been set for furthering transparency that will benefit students.”

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