Campus Peer Associates is the umbrella term for all peer groups sponsored by the Counseling & Psychological Service Center (CAPS Center). Peer Advocates work individually with students as well as in groups offering personal development programs. Sexual Assault Peer Educators, Substance Abuse Peer Educators and H.O.P.E. (Healthy Options Peer Educators) all work to promote awareness and education around specific issues. Members of all these peer groups receive extensive training in order to serve their fellow students well and so that they can act as referral sources to the professional counseling staff.
Peer Advocates are a group of upper-class trained students whose focus during the fall semester is on the integration of first-year students into the college community, and throughout the entire academic year, on education awareness of all peers on issues relevant to them as college students and as people who live in society and the world. They create and implement programs oriented to education and awareness, service and advocacy. They also provide a link for students to resources on campus.
SUBSTANCE ABUSE PEER EDUCATORS
The Substance Abuse Peer Educators are a group of students that are dedicated to educating their fellow students about health issues as it pertains to the use and abuse of substances such as alcohol, nicotine and other drugs. The Peer Educators play a uniquely effective role by encouraging their peers to develop responsible habits and attitudes toward high risk health and safety issues. The group's emphasis is promoting healthy choices not necessarily abstinence.
SEXUAL ASSAULT FACTS & EDUCATION (SAFE) PEER EDUCATORS
Sexual Assault Facts & Education Peer Educators are male and female students that train alongside staff members to provide sexual assault prevention and awareness education on campus. SAFE Peer Educators are also trained to be a resource for fellow students linking them to Sexual Assault Resources on campus and in the community. The SAFE mission statement is to promote the prevention of sexual assault (SA) through education using all inclusive language that is respectful of all diversity and promotes acceptance of self and others. SAFE Peer Educators also help to foster creative programming and have passion and enthusiasm when presenting with staff members on the following topics: Red Zone; Healthy Relationships; Relationship Violence; SA Role of alcohol and other drugs; SA Reporting and Resources; Consent; Bystander Intervention; and Sexual Assault Awareness Month (in April). A few characteristics of potential SAFE Peer Educators include passion, an outgoing personality, willingness to be trained and commitment to the SAFE mission and team.
SEXUAL ASSAULT RESPONSE TEAM (SART)
SART stands for Sexual Assault Response Team, which was initiated in 1997. A group of faculty and staff are trained to provide support and assistance to students who have been sexually assaulted. These individuals know the issues and feelings associated with assault, and they know what options, resources and services are available to help someone who has been assaulted. SART in on call 24 hours, 7 days a week during the academic year. A SART member is readily accessible to all Misericordia students via cell phone. The cell phone is rotated through the SART members according to a semester schedule. Students may also choose to contact a SART member during regular work hours by phone or in person. All Misericordia students are given contact information for SART members during Orientation.
H.O.P.E. (Healthy Options Peer Educators)
HOPE members create awareness and advocate for students' overall health and wellness. Members educate and motivate students to practice and achieve an attitude of wellness by promoting the importance of having a sense of purpose and belonging, have a realistic body perception, and having a sense of knowing and valuing themselves. The group is also a resource for positive living as it specifically focuses on such areas as healthy eating, physical health, stress management, and self-acceptance. H.O.P.E. believes that each person is unique and special in his or her own right and that a commitment to body, mind, and spirit will enhance a persons' self-confidence and respect for self, and therefore their ability to live fulfilling and happy lives.