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2014 Blair Hall ‘Health Scare’ - Looking back to move forward

November 6, 2015

Photo by Jacob Reinsmith

 

It’s been a year since the Blair Hall health scare, initially thought to be a carbon monoxide incident, sent 55 students to the hospital and left Olivet College’s campus crawling with six news stations, while staff scrambled to find a solution. Looking back is a good way to move forward, which is exactly what Olivet is doing.  


According to the Echo’s Sept. 19, 2014 edition, Blair Hall was evacuated and closed for a day and a half while the residents were left to sleep on cots at The Cutler Event Center. 


Junior C.J. Miller was living in Blair Hall during the evacuation. “I was sleeping when they started banging on doors, asking if people were feeling dizzy or drowsy. We were all so confused, but they were just trying to make sure everyone was okay,” Miller said. 


Reflecting on this event helps the staff to now be better prepared and proactive toward preventing any epidemic that may be brought on campus. 


When asked, Provost and Dean Maria Davis had a lot to say about the progress being made by the college. “When available, vaccination is the surest protection against getting sick. The college follows Barry Eaton District Health Department recommendations and encourages students and employees to get vaccinated against seasonal influenza each year.” Davis said. “Our Student Life Department has organized an influenza vaccination clinic on campus.  If we work together and each do our part, we can reduce the number of people in our community who become sick.”


This includes the flu clinic that was scheduled on campus Nov. 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This information was sent out via email and postal service by Jason Meadows, associate dean of Student Life, to all students and staff on campus. 


Provost Davis said, “Protecting the health of our students remains a top priority for us here at Olivet College.  Viral infections such as colds and influenza are among the most common types of infectious disease found in groups of people living or working in close proximity to one another, such as in a residence hall, academic building or athletic center.” Davis continued, “In addition to the regular cleaning and sanitizing of public spaces by our outstanding custodial staff, the best protection against illness comes in the behavior of each individual person.” 


That being said, it is also up to the students to maintain a healthy campus. Good tips for staying healthy include: plenty of fresh air, regular hand-washing, getting a good night’s sleep and keeping hands away from eyes and face. Being stressed can also make catching a cold easier, so as the cold weather and exams set in, students should still find time to relax. These tips were gathered from Davis, as well as Health.com.

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