New Isham Health Lectures for Proctors and Prefects; Red Cross Chapter to Improve Safety on Campus

This year two new health initiatives have been launched on campus – a new chapter of the American Red Cross started by Haruka Maruyama ’06 and a compulsory lecture series for proctors and prefects organized by Isham Health Center. Maruyama thought that it would be good to educate students in lifesaving techniques. She believed that it would also make campus safer in the case of an emergency if there were more people skilled in these techniques. Between thirty and forty students have been regularly attending meetings, which did not surprise Maruyama. She said, “I always knew student response would be good.” A pilot community service program with existing chapters in high schools nationwide, the American Red Cross will hopefully generate enough interest to continue on after Maruyama graduates. The club has been following the Red Cross Training Manual, specifically focusing on disaster preparation techniques. PA students are given the same training that is given to volunteers in disaster areas. The two biggest Red Cross projects so far have been education in CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) usage. Lois Kelly, an Isham nurse, gave 28 students CPR lessons. After four and a half hours of training, the students are all now fully qualified. The AED training taught students how to operate the now very mainstream instrument, which is located in planes, subway stations, restaurants, and most other public places. AEDs give heart attack victims precious time to get to a hospital by restarting stopped heartbeats. The second new health initiative is a compulsory lecture series for proctors and prefects organized by Isham Health Center and the Dean of Students office. Seniors from UMass-Lowell’s Health Education program, who have been interning for the past term, will speak to proctors and prefects about issues ranging from skin care to drug and alcohol problems. Isham originally proposed the project in August to the Dean of Students as a program for Upper and Senior prefects and proctors to help prepare them for college and to allow them to present this information to the students in their dorms. Reactions thus far from those involved have been very mixed. Lois Kelly, the Isham nurse spearheading the program, said, “So far the feedback has been very positive.” However, an anonymous proctor from a large boys’ dorm called the program “a big waste of time.” “It’s an hour of my life every week,” he said, “Nothing gets done or is learned.”