Flu Season returns to campus

Fever, loss of appetite, sore throat and body aches- the flu is never an enjoyable experience, but for college students especially, it can affect their performance in class in addition to their overall health.

On Nov. 5, numerous students waited outside of the Health Center in DaSilva Hall to receive the seasonal flu shot.

At the St. John’s University-run program, students could receive the flu shot for $5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Freshman Michael Fallon, a history major living on campus said he had the flu this year in early October.

“I woke up Saturday and went out with a few friends and I just couldn’t move. I was just so tired, groggy and congested. I couldn’t do anything,” he said.

Since Fallon’s permanent residence is in Bethpage, Long Island, he was able to return home to rest and recover from the flu.

Nevertheless, the experience was very taxing physically and also affected his schoolwork to a large extent.

“I had an essay due on Monday and I had work on Sunday. Because I was sick I couldn’t do it and my essay was horrible,” said Fallon.

The flu can make normal tasks like going to class or studying for a test very difficult. Yet, most students seem to be indifferent about the upcoming flu season.

Nicole Budine, a freshman living on campus, said she did not get the seasonal flu shot since she is not concerned about the flu.

“I don’t think flu shots are necessary. I guess for some people who don’t have good immune systems they’re good,” she said.

Dominic Petruzzelli, director of Residence Life, said he believes the flu season does not necessarily pose a threat, but should be a concern for all students, especially for those who live on campus.

Residence Life has worked hand-in-hand with the Health Center by increasing awareness of the flu and informing students how to stay healthy.

Posters displaying tips on preventing the flu have been placed tin areas with heavy pedestrian traffic on campus as a proactive measurement.

The Office of Resident Life has changed their policies this year by conducting monthly health and safety inspections.

By getting Residence Assistants more involved with the students by checking their rooms, the office hopes to keep the rooms cleaner and students healthier during flu season.

When a student who lives on campus becomes sick with the flu, Petruzzelli recommends they not share items and they stay in the dorms.

“If you can’t go home, don’t go visit friends across the hall, don’t go to Montgoris,” he said.

“We have services that will provide you with the necessary things you need.”
He also suggests students write to their advisors, the Freshman Center, as well as the Dean’s office if they cannot go to class because of the flu.

Taylor Chenail, a freshman on campus, was one of the many people who stood outside of DaSilva Hall to receive the flu shot. She said the process was very simple and efficient.

The students filled out health forms while in line and received the shot right after turning in the form.

“It doesn’t prevent all flu viruses. It works most of the time, yet it’s not guaranteed. But it’s better than nothing.

“I’ve never gotten the flu before, but because we live in the dorms, I received the shot.

“And if you get the flu in college, it’s not as easy to take a day off as it was in high school.”

For Chenail, getting the flu shot was another precaution to take to stay healthy, just like having a sufficient amount of sleep and eating healthy.

Petruzzelli recommends students wash their hands and keeping their living spaces clean.

Wiping a surface with bacterial wipes can make a difference in the degree of cleanliness and flu-susceptibility in a room.

Budine is also taking precautions, but she doesn’t seem too concerned about the flu.

“If it happens, it happens. I’m not going to live my life worrying about it.”