Students left ‘stranded’ at hospital

When a student has to be transported to the hospital the ambulance comes and takes them away, but no one really ever wonders how these students get back to campus.

Students who were transported said they had to pay for a taxi to get back to campus, once released, including sophomore Jeff Ehalt and junior Jon Meisterling.

“I never talked to anyone from SHU while I was at the hospital,” Meisterling said. “I think the hospital called a taxi for me and if I didn’t have any money I don’t know what I would have done.”

“No one ever offered me money for a taxi,” Ehalt said. “I had to find my own way back to campus.”

According to Dean of Students Karen Van Norman, students are told to call a taxi service upon being released; however, what a lot of students do not know is that they can call Public Safety if they do not have money for the taxi.

“If a student is released by the hospital and needs a ride back to campus, he or she can call for taxi service,” Van Norman said. “If the student does not have cash to pay for the taxi, he or she is advised to have the taxi come to the Public Safety Office. The Public Safety and Security Manager will pay the taxi from a small transportation fund to which they have access.”

Van Norman said that the reason why the school does not have contact with students while they are at the hospital is because of certain limitations on privacy laws that affect the University and the hospital.

Freshman Corey DiChiaro said when she was taken to the hospital, Public Safety said they would provide for the taxi and take the money used out of her Bursar account; however, the taxi service did not understand the process.

“They (Seton Hall) didn’t tell me to bring money or anything,” Dichiaro said. “They said I could charge it on my Bursar, but the hospital and taxi service had no idea what we were talking about so I was stranded there with the intention that I would get a ride back, and my friend’s boyfriend had to come pick me up.”

Sophomore Paul D’Olivo said he had to go to the hospital when he visited William Paterson University, and the same policy was in place for transportation there as here at Seton Hall.

“I didn’t receive any ride back to campus, but fortunately one of my friends picked me up,” D’Olivo said. “I was actually pretty angry that I didn’t even receive an offer for a ride back to campus.”

Sophomore Nicole Fischer said her friend was transported to the hospital and she felt personally obligated to pick her up.

“Obviously, I would do anything for a friend, but I was shocked when in my situation, I was told I was responsible for picking my friend up,” Fischer said. “You think there would be some sort of protocol for picking students up.”

Lindsay Rittenhouse can be reached at lindsay.rittenhouse@student.shu.edu.

Author: Lindsay Rittenhouse

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