Keilah Davis | Correspondent
The Student Health Center offers a variety of services for students regarding sexual health.
Outreach and Student Engagement Coordinator for Student Health Services Heather Vernier believes sexual health education is extremely important for students on campus.
“A lot of students come into college misinformed or with no information at all about sexual health,” she said.
Student Health is dedicated to providing easily accessible resources to maintain sexual health to students.
Although the women’s health department does not have an obstetrician, it is staffed with a gynecologist and nurse practitioners. The department also offers annual wellness exams, contraceptive counseling, and general birth control prescriptions including intrauterine device implants.
Heather Spencer, Associate Director of Student Health Services said, “[Our student patients] say that our practitioners are really nonjudgmental and they feel comfortable coming there, [which is] something we are really proud of.”
The primary care services department offers STI or STD testing and contraceptive counseling. “Ill-informed individuals are at a higher risk of contracting STI’s and unintended pregnancy,” said Vernier.
Prescribed contraceptives can be purchased from the pharmacy at the Student Health Center. Over-the-counter Plan B and free condoms are also offered there. Students are allowed to get 3 free condoms per day.
On the first and third Thursday of every month, Student Health offers free and confidential STI testing through Wake County Health and Human Services. These tests are completely anonymous and do not appear on insurance billing statements.
“We don’t want there to be any barriers for STI testing,” Spencer said.
Spencer and Vernier encourage students to make appointments online or by phone if they want to seek sexual health services. The cost of these services varies with an individual’s insurance policy.
In addition to offering health services, the Student Health Center also hosts outreach programs to help educate and dispel- con’td on pg. 6 misinformation. On Halloween, staff members walked around campus with condoms and candy. In February, the Student Health Center hosted Sex Ed Boot Camp and brought in two national experts to speak at the event. There will be more community engagement initiatives in the fall semester.
The Student Health Center also offers a pre-PACKaged program called “The Challenge” to resident advisors and other student organization leaders. “The Challenge” also has all of the resources students need to self-facilitate a program or presentation about sexual health.
For STD Awareness Month, the Student Health Center will post a fact of the day on all of their social media platforms.
“We’re just trying to reach students where they are and tell them about the resources that we have,” said Vernier.
The Student Health Center has also begun partnerships with the GLBT Center, Women’s Center, and Counseling Services.
“We want sexual health to be an inclusive conversation,” Spencer said.
For more information on the Student Health Center and sexual health resources, visit their website at healthypack.dasa.ncsu.edu.