Student Life

Frequently Asked Questions

Disclaimer: The information provided is strictly for informational purposes-the intention is not to provide medical advice or replace the services of a trained health care professional. Please consult with your health care provider for any medical issues or concerns you may have.

What if I miss my classes?

When a student misses a day or two of classes, the student is to inform their professors themselves. Students must inform the Health Center when they are out of classes for an extended length of time. The Health Center will inform Student Services. Notices from Student Services are ONLY sent to professors to inform them that the student will be out for a more substantial length of time. These absences are usually due to surgeries, death in families, flu-like illnesses, etc. A professor may call the Health Center to verify a student's contact with the Health Center; however, the nature of the illness or contact will not be disclosed. (See Student Handbook.) The Health Center does not supply class passes for illness.

What if the Heath Center is closed when I visit?

If the Health Center is closed and you need medical assistance, please contact your Residence advisor, Residence director, or Campus Safety (x6170) to assist you. There is also a list of local non-urgent care centers at the Health Center link.

What if the Health Center is closed and I want to make an appointment?

In order to preference: 1. Leave a note for the Health Center at Campus Security to contact you. Make sure to list a phone number where you can be reached. 2. Leave a voice mail message by calling x6360 on-campus or 594-6360 off-campus. 3. Email a message to

When can I see the nurse practitioner?

Our nurse practitioner, Shannon Gianotti, is available during the fall and spring semesters. Walk-in appointments will be accommodated as much as possible; to reduce waiting time, please call x6360 first.

How do I know if I have the flu or a cold?

It can be difficult to distinguish between colds and the flu. A cold is generally characterized by the gradual onset of the following symptoms (usually localized in the head): runny nose, stuffy head, headache, sneezing, sore throat, and a low grade fever or none at all. The flu is generally characterized by the sudden, abrupt onset of the following symptoms: fever greater than 101, body aches, fatigue or weakness, headache, eye muscle pain, dry cough, runny nose, and sore throat.

Are flu shots available?

Flu vaccines are available at low cost in the fall as long as no vaccine shortage exists. Information regarding the flu vaccine clinic will be listed in the student Broadcaster and on the Health Center bulletin board in early October.

What can I do if I get the flu?

Antiviral drugs are now available by prescription but must be taken within 48 hours of onset to be effective. Drink lots of fluid, especially water. Wash your hands frequently. Avoid shaking hands with others. Get plenty of rest. Some OTC medications may help relieve flu symptoms; talk with the nurse practitioner or a local pharmacist. Prevention is the best policy. Keep your body and immune system in good health by eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising frequently.

What can I do to prevent sickness?

Living in the close quarters of dorms increases the risk of illness. A few simple behavioral changes may lower your risk of illness and prevent the spread of disease to others: 1. Wash your hands frequently-before preparing food or eating, after blowing your nose or coughing, after using the bathroom, or if you haven't washed them in the last several hours! 2. Drink lots of water-six to eight glasses every day are recommended 3. Eat a variety of food and a balanced diet 4. Be active every day 5. Get adequate sleep every night and rest when your body is tired 6. Get regular check-ups with your doctor and with your dentist