Diabetes Awareness and Access on Campus: Do Better


Machelle Kabir ’26
Staff Writer

During winter break, I was diagnosed with diabetes — a disheartening, yet unshocking prognosis. Feeling lethargic in class, at work, and on a daily basis for the past few months, I thought my symptoms resembled diabetes, but was not able to check because I did not have SHS insurance. Unable to purchase glucose monitors, test strips, or lancets at the Claremont Colleges library, I was forced to wait until I got home for the break to make an appointment with my doctor’s office.

While one may suggest I could have picked up the supplies at the local pharmacy in the Village, they do not carry diabetic supplies over the counter, requiring a prescription for such items. Something as simple as a prescription sounds reasonable, right? Wrong.

When a student with a packed schedule can call their doctor’s office for this request, it may be past office hours. Even if a student plans accordingly, they may not be able to receive the prescription over the phone. They may also find that the pharmacy in the Village does not accept their health insurance.

What happens then? They could order these medical devices via Uber Eats, Doordash, or other delivery services. Then again, all the supplies combined, regardless of where you order them from, average nearly $60, excluding delivery fees.

The diagnosis left me wondering why the prestigious Claremont Colleges do not provide access to necessary medical supplies for one of the most common health issues in the world. According to the CDC, “about 38 million Americans have diabetes,” totaling 11.6% of the US population.

While acknowledging that students from all over the world come to study in Claremont, this statistic means that out of the 8,500 students, 986 of them would be diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes does not discriminate; the seemingly young, healthy students at the Claremont Colleges could be suffering — diagnosed or undiagnosed.

I know the Claremont Colleges care for their students’ health and well-being. That is exactly why I transferred to Scripps a year ago. However, even something extraordinary has room for improvement.

That is why I suggest the Huntley Bookstore sell glucose monitors, test strips, and lancets. I am not requesting insulin; I merely request simple devices to assist student health and wellness.

If all goes accordingly, I plan to start a CLORG at Scripps this semester to shed light on an ailment that has caused me great inconvenience. Diabetes is a time-consuming, unfair hardship that plagues countless. However, there is still a way of making it easier to deal with, a process in which both the Scripps and 5C faculty could assist. Ask yourselves, could you help make our fight easier? If my advice is taken, it is possible.

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