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Education gets high marks, but students worry about safety

Yale Medicine Magazine, 1999 - Summer


While 90 percent of students rated the quality of education at the medical school as good or excellent, they also remain concerned about security, particularly in parking lots and on streets leading to the main campus. The Committee for the Well-Being of Students reported its findings from an annual survey to the Medical School Council on April 15. The survey was based on responses from 277 students in the medical school, public health and the Physician Associate Program. “Most people are very satisfied with the quality of education,” said Ben Smith, co-chair of the committee. “Most students view the administration as concerned about them and responsive to their needs.”

Although most also gave high marks to security efforts, it remained a top concern. Only 58 percent of public health students rated security as good or excellent, compared to 95 percent of PA students and 84 percent of first-year medical students. “A lot of us feel our end of campus gets neglected at night,” said public health student Kathy Witgert. She said public health students would like to see a nighttime foot patrol and scheduled bus stop in front of the public health building on College Street so students could wait inside, rather than on the street.

A related complaint was the high cost of secure parking near the medical school. The report recommended better lighting of parking lots and adjoining roads, more foot patrols at night, change machines for parking meters, and incentives for car-pooling, such as reduced parking rates.

Jack Gundrum, director of security for the medical school, said that in response to the concerns outlined in the students’ report a periodic foot patrol has been added at night to LEPH and College Plaza. Parking, however, is a harder problem to address. “Parking is at a premium,” he said. “There is certainly adequate parking, but it comes at a cost.”

Other topics of concern to students were prices of meals at cafeterias, rare instances of discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation and verbal abuse on medical rounds. The Office of Student Affairs is establishing a program to make peer counseling available to students who wish to discuss verbal abuse or other forms of student mistreatment.