University aims to dispense good health

As part of its campaign to stop the spread of the H1N1 virus on campus, the Florida A&M  Student Health Services Department has placed hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the university.

Tanya Tatum, director of Student Health Services, said the department has a campaign designed to combat the virus.

“The hand sanitizers are only part of our flu prevention campaign, I would like to believe that all of our [other] efforts have been effective in helping to reduce the numbers of individuals that become infected with influenza,” Tatum said. “There are other Florida schools and counties that are having a much more difficult time with this pandemic.”

The Student Health Services Department encourages students to use the hand sanitizer dispensers around campus in hopes of decreasing the number of students becoming sick this year.

Earnest Jackson, 22, a fourth-year criminal justice student from Washington, appreciates the health department’s efforts.

“I think FAMU is doing what they can at the main places where students [are],” Jackson said.

Jackson makes use of the dispensers that are around campus. 

“When I go in the cafe I use the hand sanitizer,” Jackson said.

While they have been helpful, some  campus residents feel that FAMU should consider other locations for the dispensers.

Semara Watkins, 18, a first-year general studies student from Jacksonville, believes there should be sanitizer dispensers inside the dorms.

“They need them right when you walk in [Wheatley Hall] because everybody has been touching the door and doors have germs on them,” Watkins said.

Wall dispensers have been placed in common areas on campus such as the new Multipurpose Gym and the cafeteria. The dispensers are also located in the Foote-Hilyer Administration building, the recreational center and the library.

The library has taken extra precautions for reducing germs in the media center. 

Ruth Swan, associate director of libraries, said the library is remaining careful by using hand sanitizer and other measures.

“Along with putting hand sanitizer [in the library], we have increased the frequency of cleaning keyboards and mice, so those are extra measures we’ve taken,” Swan said.

Tatum said some viruses are circulated when people touch objects such as computers, door handles, elevator buttons and handrails.

It is important for students to use precautions while touching objects that many other individuals have also touched.

Tatum said they are not able to place hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the entire campus, but people are encouraged to put hand sanitizers in their buildings.

Tatum suggests people sanitize their hands regularly to kill germs.

“Make sure your hand sanitizer has an alcohol content of at least 60 percent.  Anything less than 60 percent is not effective in killing germs. Apply enough sanitizer to get your hands thoroughly wet and rub vigorously until dry,” Tatum said.