Pierce art students can soon study abroad in Italy

Pierce College students will have the opportunity to learn Italian outside of the classroom starting next year.

The one-month program, introduced by art instructor Constance Moffatt at the Academic Senate on Oct. 12, will take place in Genoa, Italy.

“Finally we have a study abroad program approved for summer 2016,” Moffatt said. “It’s Art 102, which is a transferable course.” Moffatt said.

Students who go will be able to participate in various programs such as a weekend trip to Florence. The trip will last from June 17 until July 16.

“The program cost is $3,800. It’s a month, with shared apartments,” Moffatt said. “It doesn’t include your food or airfare. Students still have to pay the fees for a three unit course.”

Earlier in the meeting, Student Health Center director Beth Benne was appointed senate representative for the Student Success and Support Advisory Board.

“I have to be cognizant of the fact that the senate has entrusted me to sit on that advisory committee representing the senate, but my other agenda is going to be [figuring out] how we can expand medical and mental health services for [the students], that’s the bottom line,” Benne said.

Due to her current position as director of the health center, Benne is aware of what the health center is lacking in.

“SSSB is paying for half of our mental health program now…they are taking [our] interns and making it a paid position, which means a bigger pool to pull from, a more motivated pool and they have enabled us to double our mental health program,” Benne said.

Benne has pushed for a number of changes to the current views on the importance of mental health.

“I think our mental health needs for our students are way under-addressed, we need a full-time psychologist…until the health fees go up that will never happen,” Benne said.

Izzy Goodman, adjunct professor of Chemistry and member of the academic senate’s IT task force spoke on the current state of campus-wide connectivity issues.

“The task force hasn’t met so we haven’t gotten any feedback on the progress. Apparently things are working right now,” Goodman said.

Goodman also explained the fluctuating nature of Pierce College’s internet connectivity.

“However, when I last asked about whether that means the systems have been fixed I was told that the system is very unstable, and something like that could happen tomorrow or the next day,” Goodman said.

The next Academic Senate will take place on Oct. 26 in The Great Hall at 2:15 p.m.