During its Nov. 3 business meeting, Elon University’s Student Government Association heard from representatives of a new quality enhancement plan and heard an outlook into the future of student insurance. 

Upcoming hopes for this year’s quality enhancement plan were introduced by the co chair of the program, finance professor Kate Upton.

“A quality enhancement plan is something that Elon does every five years, and we want your feedback on the one we are working on to present to our accrediting body in March,” Upton said. 

The enhancement plan is focusing on technology proficiency in understanding software which Elon employs such as word documents and Excel coding systems. Set out to combat student uneasiness entering a more digital school environment, the skills sets the plan is meant to provide would give further support through continued education.

"We think about data sometimes a little bit more quantitatively as a society but data is everywhere,” added Upton. 

Focusing on data comprehension and ways to help students curate their data, senators were asked how they best thought the plan should do so. 

“We could integrate a required video over the summer since we already have to take prerequisite courses before coming to campus,” freshman Sen. Lexi Riolo said. “By having a presentation and an added technology comprehension assessment, we could help students get ahead without dragging out time during their first semester.”

Motioning through the meeting, Dean of Students Jana Lynn Patterson and Assistant Vice President for Administrative Services Chris Fulkerson introduced a presentation for enhanced student insurance. Focusing on student health service operations and graduate and immigrant policies, the production taught two enhancements that would lead the university forward. 

One is the allowance of personal insurance to be easily used through student health services, and the second is the introduction of tuition-based health insurance featured by Blue Cross Blue Shield.  

“Students pay for their physical therapy — so the cost for office visits — but everything else is out of pocket for the students,” said Lynn “The students physically must pass receipts to their insurance companies for reimbursement.” 

Request proposals have been sent out to health entities around the county, which have been invited to contribute financially to those operations in coming years. The presenters said strong interest has been shown by four health care entities so far, which will be evaluated following the deadline on Nov. 14. 

If the plan is introduced in this way, students would be charged just like they would for a full year of tuition, with an additional cost of around $1,300 per semester.  Students could choose to opt out of this easily, according to Fulkerson. Up until a certain cut off date during fall semester, students could also cancel this.

“The biggest difference you will see as the students is that they will be able to use their insurance for other things like lab tests, procedures and medications that they currently pay out of pocket,” Lynn concluded. 

At the meeting, SGA also approved Catholic Campus Ministries’ request for funding a late semester retreat focused on reawakening life and deepening community connection. The grant will cover food and material costs for the weekend. 

SGA’s next business meeting will be Nov. 17, the last of the semester before the Winter Term begins on Jan. 3.