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To Health and Back: Medical, Counseling Services Planned to Fill Former Quad Cafeteria

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A former dining hall on Dutch Quad will serve a new purpose: health care and counseling.

Student Health Services is expected to run on site of what is now a closed cafeteria by 2019. The transition is part of a greater $32 million renovation of Schuyler and Beverwyck Hall. 

Upon completion, it will be the first time in years that University medical and counseling services are based on campus grounds. Student Health Services in the meantime operates out of the Patroon Creek Corporate Center, a mile-plus drive from Collins Circle.

In 2009, Health Services moved after over 40 years on campus. According to Facilities Management, more up to date resources were available among private health care providers in the commercial office space, a driving factor behind the last move.

Since moving, some concerns have surfaced over the site’s proximity to non-commuter students. By shuttle, it’s a 30-minute wait; by foot, it’s about a 25-minute trip.

This commute may bar some non-commuter students from accessing medical and counseling services, said Ed Engelbride, associate vice president of Student Affairs. 

“Depending on [if] you’re a residential student, you have a 20-minute appointment with student health [services] — now, possibly that could certainly take two hours.”

Following plans to close Dutch Quad dining hall over a year ago, Student Affairs submitted a request to fill the space with health and counseling services. Renovation is expected to begin come May of next year.

As of now, walk-in counseling services are provided three days a week on campus, each open two hours. Other on-campus options include Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program, a 24-hour hotline run out of Indian Quad. 

“It’s a more convenient location so hopefully students will be able to utilize the services better,” said September Johnson, a former member of Middle Earth.”And I think the health center belongs on campus.”

While plans for Dutch Quad remain in the pipeline, the Graduate Student Association has taken recent action to expand accessibility at the current site. After a year of talks with GSA officials, Mass Transit added Patroon Creek to the East Campus shuttle route in August.

“Really, it was the missing link between the East Campus, the Downtown Campus, and the Health Center,” said GSA President Dylan Card.

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Tyler A. McNeil is the current managing editor for the Albany Student Press. The Capital Region native previously served as managing editor for The Hudsonian, and as an intern for the Times Union and Capital Tonight.

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