ANNE MARIE LAGNESE — Staff Writer
Planned Parenthood’s funding hangs in the balance as some adults, both young and old, may choose to use alternative methods and resources to ensure that their needs are taken care of if Planned Parenthood can no longer offer the services at its current or previous rates.
Southern’s campus offers a Women’s Center, the Men’s Initiative, and the campus health center to assist students. But how many students take advantage of these on-campus resources verses Planned Parenthood or their own doctor?
“Being a student here for the last four years, I can honestly say the only resource I’m aware of that deals with anything medically is the Health Services building,” student Kelsey Christian said. “I’m not certain if they offer any options towards pregnancies, and in the event that they don’t, I think that’s when I’d go to Planned Parenthood. I know the Women’s Center exists but I’ve never been to any programs.”
Christian also said while Planned Parenthood gained a “bad reputation” in association with abortions, she praised the organization for what else they do, such as STI and HIV testing.
“Planned Parenthood is an incredible organization that surprisingly offers more options besides abortions,” she said. “I think they’re fighting to gain their light back as a respectable organization on campus and that the support for them and funding from the university needs to increase.”
Maayra Nieves, a student as well as a worker in the Women’s Center, explained how the Woman’s Center handles student pregnancies versus how Planned Parenthood may handle the issue.
“All the information they have at Planned Parenthood we have at the center,” she said. “We have all the resources and contact information for different situations. If a girl gets pregnant or a guy gets a girl pregnant, we set them up with counseling free at SCSU for students, give them information and contact information and work with them to make appointments. We do not have birth control; however the health center on campus provides it with a co-pay if you have SCSU insurance. We work closely with Planned Parenthood so we try our best to do what we can.”
In addition, Southern’s website states that the Women’s Center and the Men’s Initiative “aim to empower and educate the campus and local community on gender issues.”
Cory Sharnick, a 21-year-old Southern student, said he thinks that places like the Women’s Center are a good thing, but may be more useful if they had multiple locations around campus.
“I think that SCSU offers excellent resources for students to understand STDs and how to prevent sudden parenthood,” Sharnick said. “Both the Women’s Center and D.A.R.C. [Drug and Alcohol Resource Center] in Schwartz Hall are educational and effective in my opinion. They may become more effective centers if multiple locations are offered around campus.”
Planned Parenthood as well as campus resources, like the Women’s Center, are there to assist students if the issues of STIs, sudden pregnancies and sexual assault should occur. Students are not alone and not without resources from the campus or the surrounding community.