Staph lives everywhere, and there’s always a chance of catching it. We understand that we can’t walk around in constant fear of contracting a staph infection. But when known cases of staph are present on campus, the sense of concern is heightened, and we think rightfully so.
Students, faculty and staff were notified of the outbreak, which is a serious situation. However, the notification came much later than we believe it should have. Reports of a potential staph outbreak began to surface during the first week of school, yet students were not notified of the problem until September 16.
The Athletic Department and Health Services do not believe there is a risk for students who use the weight room and other facilities in Hopper and Cowles, but we still think students should have been notified earlier. What harm would it have caused to fill students in on this situation? Even a simple notice on the weight room door encouraging students to clean the equipment and cover up any open scrapes or cuts would have been better than nothing. Mike Hadden told The Simpsonian that athletes know better than to use unclean equipment, but students who don’t participate in athletics and weren’t alerted of the outbreak might not know better.
It appears that both the Athletic Department and Health Services have done a commendable job helping athletes who’ve become infected with MRSA to get the appropriate medical treatment and follow proper health and safety measures.
However, even if there is “no risk” to the rest of campus when using the athletic facilities, that fact should have been made known immediately. If nothing else, it would alleviate some of the rumors and concerns that have been floating around campus.
When a student on campus first exhibited symptoms of the H1N1 virus, the administration quickly alerted the Simpson community to take necessary precautions. We appreciate how straightforward and informative everyone has been about the H1N1 issue. It would have been even better if that proactive nature had carried over to the MRSA issue as well.