Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York
 


Frequently Asked Questions
About Peer Education


 
Q. What is a Peer Educator? What do Peer Educators do on campus?
Peer Educators plan events and organize campaigns in order to increase positive behaviors on and off campus and decrease harmful effects associated with the misuse and abuse of alcohol and other drugs. Peer Educators provide accurate information and opportunities for the exploration of personal goals and values that challenge and empower students to make safe and informed choices. Peers are leaders and role models on campus, and play an active role in advocating informed decision making. Peer Educators are not judgmental or preachy. Organizationally, Fordham University Peer Educators is a student organization at Rose Hill which is advised by the Director of the Office of Substance Abuse Prevention and Student Support. In order to be an active member and educate others, through a wide variety of initiatives, members must submit a paragraph and then complete the Certified Peer Educator Training in the spring.

Q. What types of activities do the Peer Educators sponsor?

The Rose Hill Rush, which is a 5k run around campus to kick off Spring Weekend. Additionally, Peer Education works on marketing campaigns, such as the upcoming Safe Spring Weekend Campaign, National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, and the Collegiate Smoke-Out, all of which attempt to provide accurate information on alcohol and other drug use and safety to students.

Q. I am a Resident Assistant (RA)/ want to be an RA, can I still a Peer Educator?

Yes! Many RAs on campus are also Peer Educators because of the similar goals we share and the skills required for both leadership positions. The skills you will learn during Certified Peer Educator Training will augment the skills you possess as an RA. Many RAs also co-sponsor events with Peer Education to fulfill their programming requirements.

Q. How significant of a commitment is Peer Education?

Peer Educators are expected to be active members of the organization and to meet the minimum requirements (read next question) for membership.


Q. Are there any membership requirements?

Members are required to facilitate Core Programming Sessions for incoming freshmen in September, attend general meetings, distribute marketing materials in the McGinley lobby and at various events, and assist in planning two events or marketing campaigns per semester. Each event is organized in advance with the guidance of members of the Peer Educators executive board. Additionally, each committee has its own minimum requirements. However, we do understand that you may work and are also involved in other activities. We are very flexible with requirements, and if you do not meet these requirements one semester, you are still welcome and able to return as a Peer Educator the following semester.

Q. How often do the Peer Educators hold meetings?
The Peer Educators hold general meetings about once per month and committee meetings biweekly. When you complete training, you will choose one of the following committees to be a part of: Marketing, Alcohol and Drug Awareness, and Passport. The Marketing Committee plans poster campaigns and comes up with ideas for marketing products that have educational facts on them regarding alcohol and other drugs. The Alcohol and Other Drug Awareness Committee plans educational initiatives to promote safe decision making to the Fordham community. The Passport Committee plans Passport Excursions to various places in New York City and publishes the Passport: Guide to New York City each year.

Q. Does Peer Education have a policy on drinking for its members? What happens if a Peer Educator is documented for consuming alcohol?

As leaders and role models on campus, Peer Educators are expected to be responsible and positive members of the Fordham University community. While we do not preach abstinence from alcohol, Peer Educators are expected to make appropriate and informed decisions in regards to drinking. If a student is found in violation of the alcohol policy or any other University policy while a Peer Educator, a discussion with the executive board about my responsibilities may follow.

Q. What Does the Certified Peer Educator Training Consist of?

Training consists of one 6-hour session, plus a 20 minute follow-up meeting with an executive board member. An Induction Ceremony is held in the spring semester for newly trained Peer Educators.

Q. What skills will I learn during Certified Peer Educator Training?

Certified Peer Educators are trained in communication skills, resource identification, listening skills, event planning, presentation techniques, and student leadership ethics. In addition to these leadership skills, Peer Educator training also includes basic alcohol and drug information. These skills will not only help you as a Peer Educator, but will extend to other areas of your life, such as jobs, clubs, and relationships with friends and family members. Becoming a Certified Peer Educator is a great addition to your growing resume.

Q. Are Peer Educators considered a part of the university's administration?

No. Peer Educators are students advocating and promoting positive behaviors and providing accurate information. This is done by planning events, facilitating small group conversations, and developing marketing campaigns. Through such initiatives, Peer Educators assist the student body and administration in creating a safer and healthier campus community. While there is a close relationship with the administration (for example, our advisor is an administrator), we are not employed as a student staff like Resident Assistants.


For more information regarding Peer Education,
please contact the Office of Substance Abuse Prevention and Student Support at
osapss@fordham.edu or the Fordham University
Peer Educators at peereducator@fordham.edu

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