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Follow the money: the benefits of Hazen Hall

by Tori Martinez - Managing Editor
Tue, Apr 10th 2018 11:00 am

Free condoms, Ibuprofen, cough drops: these are all included in your campus health center fee, which most students know about already. You can’t miss the shelves that hold them on your left as you walk into Hazen Hall. But what else do you get with the $161.50 you shell out each semester as a part of the student health fee?

Well, a lot, actually. 

The health center fee covers expenses for Hazen Center for Integrated Care, which includes the Student Health Center, Counseling Center and Prevention and Outreach Services (POS). It also includes the Center for Select Respect in the Seymour College Union basement, which is overseen by POS. The fee is mandatory for all students except those who are participating in a study abroad program overseas.

Not unlike the athletic fee and most other budgets, the vast majority of the fee goes to pay the salaries of everyone who works within one of the three departments, including student temporary service, where approximately $90,000 went to student salaries this year.

Much of what the fee pays for would not even be available to the college if students did not pay a health center fee. For example, on the health center side of things, vision screenings for DMV license renewal, flu shots, various health screenings for physical and mental health issues, physicals and regular office visits are completely covered. Hazen has also partnered with Wegmans Pharmacy to deliver prescriptions right to the college, which is covered for now, but might be for a $25 charge per semester in the future. 

The health center also offers reduced costs on numerous test, vaccinations and services. A tetanus shot through Hazen is $25, whereas at CVS, it would cost $105. Plan B emergency contraceptives are upwards of $50 at CVS, with cheaper options being closer to $40, but at Hazen, the pill is only $20 and goes directly onto a student bill so the student does not have to pay for it out of pocket immediately. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, a licensed massage therapist is available for 30 minutes for $25. With most other massage therapists, the cost is $30 to $40. 

Aside from physical health, the fee covers initiatives run by the health and counseling centers which work with POS to provide programing based on the needs of the students. Director of Health and Counseling Services Libby Caruso gave two examples. If there’s a spike in STD cases or a certain time of year is historically known to have an increase in counseling sessions, the three departments work together and POS creates programs centered around sexual or mental health. POS also provides programming by collaborating with various departments like the annual and well-known Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, Purple Run and Take Back the Night events. 

Caruso also mentioned that one of the services the counseling center is working on right now is called “Let’s Talk.” The counseling center has a two to three week wait at the moment, so as a way to be more accessible to students, counselors are now offering informal drop-in hours in three different locations across campus from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Mondays in Union 222, Tuesdays in Drake Memorial Library 214 and Thursdays in Tuttle North B-227. These meetings are confidential like any counseling session, and unlike speaking with a faculty member or residential assistant, for example, who are required by Title IX federal law to report certain things to the Title IX office on campus.

“Students need to know, sometimes they don’t want to report, they just want to have the conversation,” Caruso said. “That needs to take place in certain areas, and [the counseling center] is one of those areas.”

The ultimate goal of all the departments is to keep a happy and healthy campus. Because of this, POS and The Center for Select Respect cover a large variety of educational health topics: stress management, nutrition, fitness, drugs and alcohol, the prevention of dating violence and sexual assault, and education related to LGBT communities and the empowerment of women, just to name a few. 

Some of the events the Center for Select Respect will be hosting include the #ItsNotJustYou open discussion on April 12, the Intersection Rally on April 24 and the annual Yards for Yeardley run on April 27.

“All of those things are covered by the student health fee,” said Colleen Holcomb, coordinator of Prevention and Outreach Services. “Without the fee, we wouldn’t be able to pretty much do any of that.”

Caruso said the health center is cautious of its spending and aware of the fact that students don’t have a lot of money. She’s also aware that some people may never use their services, but compares paying for it to paying taxes — sometimes people pay for things they may not benefit from directly, but the entire community benefits and therefore, they benefit indirectly.

“We want to make sure the fee is providing a service that’s keeping the campus healthy, whether you’re actually in here or the person next to you is healthy because they’ve been to Hazen,” Caruso said. “So it’s more community-based, because the campus is impacted by everyone around you. If people are mentally healthy, physically healthy, we’re all the better for it.”

Hazen Hall’s hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. by appointment. Walk-in hours are Monday through Friday 8-11 a.m. The Center for Select Respect can be found in the basement of the Union, room B124. For more information, visit brockport.edu/healthctr or email Caruso at lcaruso@brockport.edu.