In the fall of 2015, Alyssa Gorenberg and Eileen Enright launched the Panhellenic Peer Educator Program. This program aimed to educate women on sexual violence and create a support system within the community. Each chapter has between one and four peer educators, and they serve as allies to the women in their chapter. Every peer educator was trained in the fall semester, then led workshops for new members in the winter semester. Many women have praised the program, noting that they learned a lot from the workshop and that it was a safe space where they could talk about sexual violence and its implications. In addition, the peer educators put on the first annual Sexual Violence Speak Out in February, which was a huge success.
Since then, the program has grown and evolved, and will now encompass mental health as well in the fall of 2016. This program will be more about conversations surrounding mental health, and giving women the tools to help themselves and each other. We are very excited to continue with the sexual violence branch of the Peer Educator Program, while creating a mental health branch. Although the branches cover separate aspects of health, they surely share a common goal of a more educated and well-rounded community. This program also has the power to unify the Panhellenic community and reduce the stigma surrounding certain topics.
For the 2016-2017 school year, Cass Bouse-Eaton, Kelsey Snyder, Ally Cohen and Arrie Timmer will be the directors of the sexual violence branch. The directors for the mental health branch will be selected early in the fall 2016 semester. Later in the fall semester, sorority women will be able to apply to be either a sexual violence peer educator or a mental health peer educator.