JSU Organization Spotlight: Peer Educators

JSU Peer Educators is the local chapter of an international organization known as The Bacchus Network, which merged with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators in 2014. (Courtesy of NASPA)JSU Peer Educators is the local chapter of an international organization known as The Bacchus Network, which merged with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators in 2014. (Courtesy of NASPA)

Breanna Hill, Features Editor 

After a period of inactivity, the campus organization Peer Educators named its new leader Jonathan Wetzel, becoming an integral part of campus organization life.

The JSU Peer Educators are a local chapter of an international organization known as The Bacchus Network, which merged with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators in 2014.

Their events and activities are focused on issues that “meet the specific needs of the JSU campus,” according to the university’s website. The organization also coordinates events for National Alcohol Awareness Week, Sexual Responsibility Week and Safe Spring Break programs.

“Our schedule has been highly varied, but the goal is to eventually be able to take requests for presentations and trainings around campus as often as membership allows,” said Wetzel.

Prior to the pandemic, the organization was in a rebuilding phase. The organization is currently working to shift the overall focus of the group from tabling events to offering more, Wetzel said, such as specific health and wellness related training to various groups around campus.

“The pandemic certainly has been an obstacle,” he said.

In the months since the outbreak, it has begun to train Peer Ed members to train other students in the program Active Minds V-A-R (Validate, Appreciate and Refer), which is a guide to “listening and responding in a helpful way.”

The organization hopes to continue planning and promoting itself to start officially building a member base. Training sessions are held in Ayers Hall, room 355. More information about the process and potential membership can be obtained by emailing Wetzel at jwetzel1@jsu.edu.

“Peer Educators will train students to be able to train other students, which will lead to a student body that is better equipped to handle various social or health related challenges they may face,” said Wetzel.

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