For the Men’s Club Rugby team, the Fall 2021 season followed a challenging year as the pandemic required limitations to practice and play. It was especially difficult as the team started with just eight returning players. While there were experienced…
Supporting Student Wellness Series: Peer Educators and Campus Connections
Staff and faculty connections help foster seemingly boundless academic, professional development and personal growth opportunities throughout the student experience and beyond. However, not to be overlooked, are the powerful lifetime peer-to-peer connections that bolster holistic wellness just as much.
Leading these student campus connections are the Barnes Center at The Arch peer educators, like Missy Roney ’22.
“From connecting students to the many resources that Syracuse University offers to giving presentations on health and wellness topics, I love being able to grow, learn and pass that information on to my friends,” shares Roney. “Educating with a goal of empowering an individual to make their own informed decisions has been such a great experience and I can’t imagine my time on campus without the peer education program!”
What is the Barnes Center at The Arch peer education team?
Currently hosting over 40 students, the Barnes Center peer educators are a team of students passionate about teaching their peers about Syracuse University health and wellness resources, services and more. Three different sub-teams of peer educators specialize in substance use education, sexuality and relationships, and mental health.
- Be Wise Peer Educators: Focus on educating and empowering students to make informed choices and decisions regarding the use of alcohol and other substances. This team is committed to making a campus-wide difference through nonjudgmental dialogue.
- Peer Educators Encouraging Healthy Relationships and Sexuality (PEEHRS): Focus on sexuality and relationships including consent, healthy relationships, pro-social bystander intervention and sexual health and pleasure. This team is trained to create safer spaces on campus for dialogue on how to respond to abuse or harassment, how to intervene with peers who are perpetuating rape culture and how to support others.
- Students Advocating for Mental Health Empowerment (SAMHEs): Focus on mental and emotional health. This team is trained to provide outreach and educational programming surrounding mental wellness including stress management, sleep health, time management, nutrition and resiliency.
What do peer educators do?
Serving as health and wellness liaisons, role models and more, peer educators help connect fellow students to the Barnes Center at The Arch Dimensions of Wellness in a variety of ways including:
- 21st Birthday Project
- Crowley Family Mindspa
- Health Hubs
- Wellness Leadership Institute
- Safer Sex Express
As a peer educator, students can see how their work directly impacts their friends, classmates and peers across campus. While individuals who participate will build their professional skills including but not limited to problem-solving, collaboration and time management. Additional highlights include:
- Peer educator positions are paid
- Flexible remote and in-person opportunities
- Free swag
- Creating positive changes on campus
- Resume and professional development opportunities
How can a student join the peer education team?
All undergraduate students who are interested in sharing their unique health and wellness journey and empowering others to do the same, are invited to apply to be a peer educator.
“Whether you are passionate about advocating for mental health, harm reduction strategies with substance use or healthy relationships and sexuality, the Barnes Center at The Arch peer educators would love to see you at our recruitment,” says Panagiotis “Pete” Hatzelamprou ’23.
2022-23 peer educator applications are now open and will close Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, at 8 p.m. Additionally, students are invited to attend one of the following Virtual Peer Educator Interest sessions.
- Wednesday, Nov. 10, 5:30 p.m. (ET)
- Monday, Nov. 15, 10 a.m. (ET)
- Friday, Nov. 19, 3 p.m. (ET)
About the Supporting Student Wellness Series
Through a student focused lens of integrated health and wellness, this series explores a variety of Barnes Center at The Arch resources and services. In the pursuit of enhancing the student experience, topics empower faculty, staff, students, families and supporters, as catalysts of health and wellness within their daily interactions.
Written by Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience communications intern, Haley Mykytka ’22, College of Visual and Performing Arts.