Applications for the new Title IX Peer Educator Program, to be student leaders and educate their peers about sexual misconduct and prevention, are open until Wednesday Nov. 21. This program is being spearheaded by Laura Bennett, NSU’s Title IX coordinator, and Desmond Daniels, NSU’s Title IX investigator and deputy coordinator.
The program is a way for students to provide educational training and workshops that are related to sexual misconduct prevention and awareness for their peers. Students who get involved in this program will have many opportunities to educate others.
“[This program] is an opportunity for us [Daniels and Bennett] to give students the skills and the practical knowledge to take the content that I and Laura have been delivering to our students and our employees for the last two years and deliver it themselves,” said Desmond Daniels.
“Peers have the greatest influence on one another,” said Daniels.
Daniels explained that having a group of students who can deliver the workshops to other students adds practicality to the program. NSU has an incoming class of over 1,000 students, and that number is growing every year. This group will help spread knowledge about sexual misconduct prevention to the entire student body.
There will be a lot of training involved, including certification as a Public Health Educator, which is a resume builder students can maintain after they graduate. After the training is complete, students will be able to design their own workshops to present to student populations.
“Since I’ve been here, I’ve had students who’ve said ‘how do I get more involved? So part of it [the program] is really student driven,” said Bennett.
They are looking for a diverse group of students so that all of the workshops that are created are as diverse as possible. Daniels and Bennett have already reached out to multiple student populations on campus, such as athletes and Greek life.
“[Our goal is] to create role models that can then help influence culture and behavior on campus,” said Daniels.
This program has been in the works for a while, and it has been shown to be very successful at institutions nearby, according to NSU’s Title IX department. Research has shown the success of peer leaders. This was an important factor in the creation of this program.
“It’s a new program, so we’re calling it Title IX Peer Educators. We’re hoping that this inaugural group will kind of help give it an identity, so it might have a different name in a year. There might be new programs. We already have a workshop library that we provide, but students may come up with totally different ideas,” said Bennett.
Benefits of participating in this program include: public speaking, interpersonal connection, facilitation, program development, event planning and consensus building. Students can strengthen their teamwork, problem solving, project management and intercultural competence through the program.