Where was Vassar when I almost died this summer?

The graduation ceremony for the Class of 2019 had just ended. I stood with my friends as we shed tears and sweat, but what we unfortunately had not managed to shed yet was the multitude of large boxes that still needed to make their way into summer storage. Trips to your storage facility are never fun, but they’re usually slightly less fun when you’re blindsided by severe pain around your wisdom tooth. As uncomfortable as it was, I was too caught up in pushing boxes and saying my goodbyes to think much of the erratic throbbing in my cheek—that is, until I woke up the next morning to find that the left side of my face had swollen up to the size of a small party balloon. It was incredibly frightening and incredibly weird. 

Unfortunately, the timing coincided with Vassar’s complete and total shutdown of health services for the summer—despite the fact that the campus continues to be populated by close to 200 summer students every year, which is about one-third the typical Vassar class size (email interview with House Advisor and Assistant Director of Residential Life Atiya McGhee).

If you are unlucky enough to be a Vassar summer student facing medical issues, not only will you find that Baldwin is closed for the entire break, but that their phone line is wired to go directly to voicemail. Furthermore, EMS is not even remotely operational. So, if you are in need of urgent medical care and you try to call your campus’ health center, you will first find that nobody is on call; then you will be asked to leave a message, or alternatively, email them; and then you will sort of just have to sit tight and wait for the medical staff to check their messages, which they will only be doing between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday (Vassar, “Summer Support Services Available for Students”). You could literally be dying on the quad, but God forbid it happens over the weekend, or like, at 6 p.m. on a Wednesday. 

Read the rest of this article here at The Brewer’s Table

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