Administrators address Illinois Student Senate

By Michael Logli

The first Illinois Student Senate meeting of the year began with a formal welcome from University President B. Joseph White. White commended the senators on their choice to be the school’s leaders, and he talked about his own experiences and expectations for the University.

“It is an amazing experience to be president at the University of Illinois,” White said. “Amazing things happen everyday.”

White also took questions about recent issues the University will face, including the money appropriated from the newly approved state budget, the future e-mail address change and the mass e-mail containing detailed information about students in the College of Engineering.

White said his main goal for the University is to increase its level of out-of-state recognition.

“This is the best university that’s not known for being as good as it is,” White said.

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    Robert Palinkas, president of the McKinley Health Center, also spoke to the senate about this semester’s change in the distribution of prescription drugs and birth control. McKinley will now require students to pay a co-payment of $5 for most prescription drugs. This is due to the enactment of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 on Jan. 1, 2007 which removes the financial incentive for pharmaceutical companies to supply universities and nonprofit organizations with low-cost medication.

    “This is new territory for McKinley,” Palinkas said.

    Basic needs like ibuprofen and cold packs will still be free of charge, but Palinkas said the fee was necessary to cover the $1.5 million gap between previous contraceptive prescription prices and the current levels. McKinley will also encourage doctors to meet with their female patients about other contraceptive choices.

    Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, the most popular contraceptive choice for women on campus, now costs $22 dollars per month, whereas equally effective contraceptives like Tri-Sprintec will cost $5, he said. There will be a review of the effectiveness of the co-payment process at the end of the semester.

    “We’re still paying a lot more than what we’re selling it for,” Palinkas said.