Free services for students on campus

Whoever said nothing is free, was wrong.


Pierce offers a variety of services at no cost to students that can help ease their way through College. But not everyone is aware of that.


The Health Center is one of the departments at Pierce that is directed to assisting with student’s needs and better yet, everything is confidential.


The services offered at the Health Center are like that of any other clinic off campus, but Pierce has been able to maintain them at no or low cost to students that enroll and pay the small health fee every semester.


“This is the best deal in town,” Beth Benne, director of Health Center said. “Nowhere on this earth can you get the level of professional care we provide at no or low cost.”


According to Benne, students have free access to consultations with the professionals working at the Health Center, the physicians, nurse partitions, psychologists, nurses and nutritionists.


“I don’t think students are aware of how valuable that service is, just the consultation alone,” Benne said. “It is really mind boggling to me.”


Even though students are required to pay an eleven dollar health fee in order to enroll in classes, the amount does not nearly compare to the monumental fees students would normally pay outside of the college.


“Having to pay for school and classes, free stuff helps,” Nicholas Bonds, a criminal justice major student, said. “Free counseling definitely helps because of the stress from classes and prices hiking up.”


The fee covers the most important and common services students use, this includes over the counter medications, physical exams, first aid, family planning, health education and nutrition counseling.


College students have a lot of weight on their shoulders and most of the time they have nowhere to go and no one to talk to about their personal problems. The Health Center is very much aware of this.


Every semester students can take advantage of six 45 minute psychological counseling sessions for free. The issues discussed during those sessions can either be individual or group meetings upon request.


Safety is implied heavily at Pierce and even though it is a personal choice, the Health Center provides what is necessary to prevent STDs and unplanned pregnancies.


“Birth control is not free through us, but we write out prescriptions to students with a Family P.A.C.T card and then they can get it for free,” Benne said.


The Family P.A.C.T program is a government funded birth control program that allows students to get birth control from clinics like Planned Parenthood for free.


“We are not allowed to make money off of students but we charge for anything we put in you like a medication,” said Bene. “And for anything we take out of you like a blood test, because we can’t afford to provide them from free.”


Starting March 26-29 the Health Center will provide free AIDS testing outside the Freudian Sip.


Due to budget cuts and the low amount of students being enrolled, the Health Center will diminish their services and hours during Summer sessions.


“I’m going to die, we are going to be lucky to have a thousand students and I’m expected to be open,” Benne said.


As Benne walked outside of her office she mentioned how easy it makes it for her to work in a new beautiful facility that they are moved into and students can now enjoy.


Another priceless asset on campus is the library, which is probably one of the most commonly used buildings by students.


It takes a single signature or a simple knock on the door to receive workshops at no cost such as stress management, writing, grammar, note taking, library research, careers, transfer strategies and more. There are more then 42 workshops offered this month alone.


“Isn’t it nice to have something free? All I hear is budget cuts,” Paula Paggi, the Associate professor of library science, said.


According to Paggi, there are 52 computers with free internet access, book checkouts for hours or days are also at no cost. Printing and photocopying are 10 cents a page, which is cheaper than most places.


Though the library has fewer staff members and is only operating during weekdays, the department has been working diligently to keep these services free. With the help of the Associated Students Organization (ASO) they open their doors to students on weekends during finals.


“We do this because we see the need in students,” Paggi said. “It is our departments decision.”


There is also the agriculture department that has contributed to the College with their dwindling resources from the farm. Processed milk has been sold at the Freudian Sip in prior years, but unfortunately they don’t have the funds to offer free services.


“When we do offer services the college takes any proceeds,” Leland Shapiro, the department chair of agriculture, said.”Why would we work very hard for someone on the other side of campus to take the money and utilize it?”


According to Shapiro, the college is allowing the department to offer vaccination and spay/neuter clinics twice a year as part of the classes for a minimum donation that will cover the expenses.


The department of agriculture has put an effort to offer students free services that would include horse shows, movie events, vaccinations and much more, but the college has made it almost impossible to profit off of their animals in order to do that.


“At least when we had the dairy it can pay for the losses, now we are not allowed to make money off the horses,” Shapiro said.


There is also the free shuttle bus that helps students save time getting around campus. It is available Monday thru Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.


“I love the free services,” Matthew Knapp, criminal justice major, said. “Especially now with the economical times, it is nice to know I have help for finals and the Health Center could assist me with personal issues.”


Health Center Free Benefits:

  • No-cost services
  • Psychological Services
  • Nutrition Counseling
  • Family Planning Services
  • Condoms
  • Assessment of Acute Medical problems
  • Over-the-counter Medications
  • First Aid
  • Physical Exams
  • Health Education Literature and Events

3/22/12 Library March Workshops for Psychology
American Psychological Association Style
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
Where: Conference Room 2100

3/28/12 Stress Management

Time: 2-3:30 p.m.
Where: CTC Workshop room

3/29/12 Writing, Grammar, and Polishing a Psychology paper
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
Where: Conference Room 2100

Free AIDS Testing

Outside of the Freudian Sip
Monday and Thursday 26th and 29th 2-7 p.m.
Tuesday and Wednesday 27th and 28th 9-3 p.m.

Psychological Counseling
6 free 45 minute sessions per semester offers assistance with issues including:

Anxiety, Stress, Panic Attacks
Drug/Alcohol Abuse
Eating Disorders
Low Self-esteem
Relationship Problems
Grief and Loss

For more information, visit:

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