Campus resources that may be more valuable than what meets the eye

FAMU’s Welcome Center is not just a building for guests, but students as well.
Photo Submitted by Brittany Jarret.

Florida A&M University has resources to help students that may experience different issues. These may range from battling depression to lacking funds to fumbling school-work.

LaShawnda Swanigan is the coordinator of FAMU’s Welcome Center. It’s a part of the university’s extension of customer service and a branch of new student orientation. The center is designed for guests but is made for students too.

“We provide current students with directions, information assistance, and a cool or warm place to relax in. If they have a relative or friend that’s interested in touring FAMU we can help them get signed up as well,” Swanigan said.

In situations that may cause students stress or discomfort, FAMU’s Office of Counseling Services offers free therapy, support groups and workshops that vary based on the needs of the university’s student body.

According to the OCS, not all FAMU students have the same problems. The center then offers many different services to accommodate their needs. It’s also why they have multidisciplinary staff members waiting to assist them in their certified areas.

Danecia Nelson is a third-year business administration student who recently transferred to FAMU from Tallahassee Community College. Due to this transition, she’s still working on figuring out the university’s campus.

“I’m still trying to learn about everything that the campus offers. I’ve done therapy before in the past and it’s nice to know that I can continue it free of charge while here at school. I feel that having the opportunity to sit and talk out any issues that I may be facing to someone who is willing to listen and help is really good,” Nelson said.

TRIO is another free campus resource that allows students to apply for programs that include but are not limited to, lab access, one-on-one tutors and courses for those who qualify as first-generation, disabled, or lower-income students.

Levia Wiley-Jackson is the assistant director of the student support services program in the TRIO academic success center. Her main goal is to support and encourage these students to successfully complete their degree at FAMU.

“We are here for the students, but they’re only going to get out of it what they put into it. We are not just a program that says we offer grant aid at the end of the semester if you join and do this and that. We are a caring and family orientated program which is what FAMU stresses all the time and they will get that here in the TRIO office… a home away from home built for you to succeed,” said Wiley-Jackson.