On Feb. 17 the Great Hall buzzed with activity as the Health and Wellness Fair organized by the Health Center with some help from the Student Health Advisory Committee (S.H.A.C.) ran from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This was the first year the Health and Wellness Fair was accomplished however Director of Health Beth Benne has tried to establish one in the past. In the past when the fair was in the process of coming together problems arose until this year when S.H.A.C. Chair Lori Peters suggested to organize the fair using only the various health services Pierce offers.
“The problem with health fairs, I’ve been here for 23 years, and we’ve never had a health fair primarily because when people think of health fair they think of outside agencies coming in and doing stuff,” Benne said.
“I can’t tell you how many call me every year just because ‘hey if you want a health fair just let me know’ and they want to sell their services but whenever we bring an outside vendor on campus we need to have liability insurance and the process takes weeks if not months and it simply was not worth it for me. It takes so much time and effort and headaches and hoop jumping through with it. I’ve experimented a couple of times bringing in HIV vendor or something like that but it’s crazy. So Lori said ‘what about a home grown health fair, your staff manning the booths’.”
Over 300 students stopped by to participate in the fair and raffles the committee set up. The fair consisted of 10 booths each discussing and informing students about an array of health-related specific issues such as sexually transmitted diseases, blood pressure, health insurance, and even an anonymous HIV test.
The first booth headed by Mando Contreras and Leonard Ramirez informed students on the proper methods of stretching as well as Kinesiology counseling. The booth next to it was dealing with mental health and giving out pamphlets and brochures on stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Discussing how to help calm these down/deal with them in the best way is important for everyone to know. Some may use full spectrum CBD oil, or others will go down the more traditional route of prescribed medication, it is up to the person dealing with it.
“So far being able to pick and choose,” Pierce student James Lucchesi said. ” For example, you don’t have to go through the whole roundabout you can just choose any booths. For example, I want to check my vision because recently my eye has been bugging me.”
Ultimately, the goal of the fair was to inform students what the fee they pay at the beginning of the semester goes toward and to show them the services ready at their disposal.
“A fee they have to pay is an eleven dollar fee for health,’ biology major Rita Ngaka said. “They just put health on the receipt so most of them just pay it because they tell them to pay it but they don’t know what they are paying for. So this is like, this fair, is like enlightenment telling what they are using their money for. What services we offer, so this is bringing awareness to the Health Center because most people don’t know what they do or where it is.”