BU should consider moving Health Center closer to students


Story by Baker Orange Editorial Board

Once a residential dorm on campus, Jolliffe Hall is an older building that has most recently been designated as campus storage. We find that though the current building’s use as a storage space may be convenient and efficient, the building and its space have even more to offer the Baker community than it currently does.

On the opposite side of Baker from Jolliffe Hall is a small white building, secluded on the south edge of campus next to the tennis courts. Baker’s Student Health Center, though a valued part of the Baker community, is hidden and tucked away, far from the students it benefits. The building is run-down as its doors, windows, walls and floors have been well-loved and well-used over the years.

Jolliffe Hall would better serve Baker as the new home of the Student Health Center. Though we acknowledge that Jolliffe Hall would need a hefty spring cleaning and a few touch-ups, it would be a great investment and could give some long-term benefit to the university. Regardless of any renovations, Jolliffe Hall provides a priceless opportunity for students, faculty and staff, and it’s all because of location, location, location.

In fact, it is Jolliffe Hall’s location that makes this move the most worthwhile for students. As it stands, students who are feeling ill are expected to receive notes from the campus nurse in order to be excused from most classes. With the building so far from students, many suffer the grade deduction rather than risk the cold worsening their condition, or they simply have no idea where to go. By having the center in Jolliffe, most residential students would need only go next door to get help from the nurse or seek a note for class.

And if location isn’t everything, Jolliffe Hall also grants usable space the current building simply can’t. With more capacity for offices, private conference rooms and waiting rooms, the space Jolliffe Hall offers would benefit both the center and the student body greatly. No longer cramped in the hide-away hallways of a residential style home, the center could enjoy the same aesthetic and small-town architecture as the rest of the university community, all while having a professional atmosphere and functional workspace.

Although the bottom floor of the building would now become the Student Health Center, the possibilities of a more inviting environment could eventually bring more campus focus to Jolliffe Hall and its role on campus. With more space for lounging and entertainment, Jolliffe Hall could offer additional opportunities to the Baker community.

Having the current Student Health Center building empty also opens up opportunities for repurposing its space to storage, or something new like an activities center for students (no hint intended). It’s a win-win either way.

The changes could be completed over the summer if necessary. Though it would take some planning by administrators and the Student Health Center staff to create spaces that fit all university needs, repurposing the buildings could present many opportunities that are worth the teamwork and effort of the entire Baker community.