The Privilege Fee Committee met at Lafene Health Center to begin considering allocations for the next three years.
Following a tour of the facility led by Jim Parker, director of Lafene, the committee gathered in a conference room to hear the requests of Lafene. In the next three years, Lafene requests an annual three percent increase in funding. Currently, Lafene Health Center, which is classified as Student Health Services, receives about 32.9 percent of the $15 million PFC budget.
Parker said since the founding of Student Health Services in 1913, the entity has evolved “from time to time”, but some elements have not changed, such as the “healthy” relationship between Lafene and the student body.
“Historically, the philosophy of the students has been to share the cost of health care for ill or injured students,” Parker said. “This allows students who otherwise couldn’t afford to get health care who are sick or injured actually come to Lafene and get help. We are very proud that we can offer that. This keeps the price low across the board, so it’s a shared cost.”
According to “aggregate data” compiled about Lafene from fiscal year 2017, the average age of a patient is 23.58 years old. Furthermore, Student Health Services saw more than 11,000 “distinct patients” in that time, which is over 56 percent of the student population at Kansas State.
Based on projections provided by Lafene, a three percent increase would allow for the reformatting of the pharmacy, the implementation of Citra — an after-hours nurse line — as well as other “improvements” that would meet the feedback provided by students.
An increase would also allow Lafene to operate at its current level, whereas a stay on the allocation would likely require the offices to pull back operating hours to 40 hours a week as well as closing all operations on Saturdays.
Lafene also reports that privilege fee allocations add up to about 70 percent of the total operating budget of Student Health Services. Parker said privilege fees are essentially the “anchor for the health center”.
The committee reconvenes on Feb. 26 at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Governing Association conference room in the Center for Student Involvement to continue discussion about Student Health Services and for further debate on Counseling Services.