The Mission Statement of Salisbury University's Peer Education Program:
The mission of the peer sexuality education program is to create passionate student leaders dedicated to the sexual health of Salisbury University students. Peer educators will work with Student Health Services to bridge the gap between students and the resources and services offered. Through outreach and advocacy, peer educators will provide the information and skills necessary for students to make informed decisions regarding their sexual well-being. The dynamic and inclusive sexual wellness programs are tailored for all sexual identities and behaviors. Peer educators will serve as role models and liaisons of knowledge, uniting our community in creating a healthy and thriving campus.
Increase awareness and knowledge of STI’s
Encourage getting tested
Increase Bystander Intervention Skills
Increase knowledge of services offered for both sexual violence reporting and for sexual health
Hold three workshops a semester
Table twice a month in residence halls or in front of Commons
Be a part of other campus events (i.e. Take Back the Night, Safe Spring Break Week, Pride Week)
What is, and why, peer education:
Peer education is the process in which driven students are trained to lead interactive workshops with the goal of giving the accurate information and tools for peers to develop the knowledge, beliefs, and skills to protect their own health. Peer education is especially effective when it comes to improving health behaviors because:
People connect easily with those in a similar situation, and there may be a deeper understanding between peers.
Peers are immersed in the community and therefore have already established networks through which they can communicate, spread awareness, decrease stigma, and encourage behavior change.
Peer educators will not only themselves feel empowered, but they can encourage others to feel more empowered to make changes and take on leadership roles.
Peer educators have more of a sense of what the community needs and thus can give better feedback on services provided.
Peer educators have access to groups within the community that may otherwise be difficult to reach out to.
What is to be expected of a peer educator:
Enthusiasm about the mission of this program
The ability to address sexual health topics with open-mindedness and non-judgement
Minimum time commitment of two semesters and about 3 hours a week, including programs/meetings/ on-going trainings; a more extensive training is required at the beginning of each semester
Responsibility of being a good sexual health role model for peers
Specific skills, which we can build together in trainings:
Facilitation of open discussion
Communication skills such as articulating clearly and listening actively, giving and encouraging positive and constructive feedback
Negotiation within all aspects, and demonstrating negotiation skills with peers
Ability to practice control when it is necessary to diffuse tense situations and to navigate touchy topics
Understand one’s own biases and be able to set those aside to teach the most correct and unbiased information