MSU introduced Sharps Containers to the Residence Halls this fall. Sharps containers are hard plastic bins used in medical facilities to dispose of sharp medical instruments safely. These containers can be used by on-campus residents who need to dispose of needles and other sharps. Residents can get a container from their primary service center and once the containers are full residents can either exchange their containers for a new one, or turn it in permanently. Having access to these containers is a huge success for students with disabilities on campus that may administer their own aid. For more information on sharps containers you can go to In Hall Health Resources.
The President of the Council of Students with Disabilities, Caroline Downes, worked to get these containers implemented on campus for the past few semesters. We did an interview with her to gather more information on this process.
What can you tell us about the process of getting sharps containers on campus?
The process of getting sharps containers on campus took about a year. We talked to groups in RHA to address this program and found others were interested in joining our cause. Then we drafted legislation which passed through RHA, indicating that we would like sharps containers to be available publicly on campus. After this, it was all about finding the right people to talk to (and this took the most time) because everyone had some knowledge but not all. We were fortunate enough to have contact with the REHS folks who ultimately created and implemented this program on our campus!
What motivated you to start this process?
I was motivated to start this process because I recognized that there was a need (a previous student had noted this to our organization) for this type of initiative on our campus for students. I wanted every student who came to our campus and who lived here their first few years to feel safe and at home because MSU is their home!
How will sharps containers be used on campus?
Sharps containers will be available for private singleperson use. Any on campus student can go check out a container and return it when they are done (either it is full, or they no longer require it). This initiative also provides better safety for our students to safely dispose of sharps materials and keep our staff safe.
Why is it important to have sharps containers available to MSU students?
This program is important because when students live on campus it is their home and they should have all the necessities to live safely and comfortably. As stated previously, this also makes sure that we validate their health needs (in whatever capacity) and provide them with a safe and accessible service.)
How did your role as President of the Council of Students with Disabilities influence or aid your achievement?
While I was working on this program, I was not the president yet, I was only the RHA representative. However, working on this motivated me to take on a more forefront role with the Council of Students with Disabilities because I want everyone to feel that they belong on this campus. This program came into place just as I assumed the role of president, and to me is quite fitting. I am honored to work with so many people who - like me - wish to uplift others and empower them! This program is just the beginning for us.
CSD is the council of students with disabilities - a registered student organization supported by RCPD for supporting Spartans with disabilities to maximize their potential, through empowerment, education, and advocacy.