Peer 2 Peer Educator

I am happy to say that this upcoming fall semester I will be a Peer Educator.

What is a Peer Educator?

This is a program held by the Counseling Services Center which Peer Educators (P2P) are SUNY Oswego students who involve, empower, and support educational campus environments related to psychological health and wellness.

What do P2P students do?

The role of the P2P Educator is to promote programs and provide information on mental health topics that can impact the academic and social success and overall well-being of SUNY Oswego students. P2P Educators are committed to teaching skills that can help fellow students reduce potential stressful life experiences (prevention) and to resolve situations more quickly should they arise.

Who are these P2P Educators?

P2P Educators are undergraduate students who represent a rich diversity of cultural and life experiences. They have a commitment to learning, teaching, assessing, role modeling, communicating in person and using social media, and effective presentation skills.

This is something I am very excited about and I can not wait to meet/help students. During my undergraduate career, I had my own experience of going to the counseling office because I felt that I needed help. At that time my friends thought I was in need of counseling because I was making decisions that they thought I could have prevented and were “affecting others”. Which made me feel like I was being attacked so I made the decision to speak with a counselor and it was the best decision I made.

While at first, I was nervous speaking about my experiences but then realized that they are there to help. These services that students take for granted are not only for people with “mental issues” but in actuality, it is for students who need someone to talk to. As a P2P I want to bring awareness to all students that these stereotypes of illness are not true which is one of the reasons I joined. The counselors on campus are all amazing people, help with different stressors in life, and are people who care about your well being.

Everyone is welcome so please stop by Mary Walker!

For more information follow this link below.

https://www.oswego.edu/counseling-services/meet-20152016-counseling-center-p2ps-peer2peer-were-here-help-you-fly

Vulnerability and strength come together for ‘Not Someone Like Me’

Shana clicks off her phone and greets me as I pull up a chair. We’ve intended to have a lunch date, but as fate would have it we aren’t huge fans of the menu that day. Shana Weiss is a sophomore education student here at Oswego, and we’ve met today to discuss her upcoming role in a staged reading of “Not Someone Like Me” directed by Mya Brown, a professor at the college.

The show is structured as a series of monologues about survivors of trauma and assault within a group therapy session. The play, written by Susan Rice, features survivors of varying ages and backgrounds. Weiss plays Pam, a woman from a lower-middle class background whose mother’s dream for her is to pursue her education, but this dream gets harder after she is assaulted. Shana is no stranger to staged readings; she participated in one for a senior’s capstone last year called the Laramie Project, a show about the bullying and subsequent murder of a young gay man. “It’s different because I’ve never had this intimate of a look into someone else’s life. Laramie was intense, but this takes it to another level.”

The cast of five went through auditions in mid-March, got casted, and went straight to work. Weiss notes that this is a quick turnaround even in theatre, but also mentions that the cast got to spend two hours of alone time with the director, Brown, to develop their characters. “It’s been a very insightful experience. I’ve worked with a lot of different directors and directing styles, and it’s very important to her that you have a very good background on the character. It’s very important that you have a feeling with the character. She very much knows what she wants out of you and has this way of drawing it out of you without feeling like she’s controlling what you do as an actor. It’s very nice.”

In the wake of #MeToo, a national online movement where people who have experienced being sexually assaulted and harassed have shared their stories, this show that was originally selected in the spring of 2017 seems more timely than ever, and that isn’t something that has escaped Shana’s mind. “I feel like it lines up very well with the timing of the #MeToo movement. I feel that it’s very important that we’re having this show, especially around a time where when there’s all these allegations coming out, where there are all these issues… It was talked about before, but now its started to really pick up.”

Event co-sponsors include Artswego and It’s On Oz, an organization dedicated to the education and prevention of sexual and interpersonal violence. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college. These statistics are alarming and bring up the issue that inspired an Academy Award nominated film The Hunting Ground. However, this show encompasses an array of experiences, and the production provides resources within their programs for anyone who may need to seek help. It is noted that the “detailed, vivid imagery” within the script that helped prepare Weiss for her portrayal may affect audience members sensitive to this type of content.

The event will take place in the Sheldon Ballroom on April 30th at 7:00 P.M. When prodded as to why people should come, Shana answers earnestly. “It is so important as to what is going on even though some of these stories have taken place 50-60 years ago. The fact that it’s still relevant and it’s still happening is why you should come see this show.”

Oz Org of the Week #1 (S.H.O.P)

Kayla Murphy, the SHOP (Students Helping Oz Peers) coordinator working in the campus food pantry

The Oz Org Of the Week is a  social media campaign where clubs and organizations can featured on the campus’s social media channels. To be featured as the Oz Org of the Week all one has to do is drop me a line at kdamoah@oswego.edu.

Our first #OzOrg feature is Kayla Murphy, the SHOP (Students Helping Oz Peers) coordinator. SHOP is a volunteer-based on-campus pantry where SUNY Oswego students can access (and campus members can donate) necessities such as food, clothing and toiletries. SHOP currently has around 15 volunteers and is looking for more.

SUNY Oswego SHOP is open 5-7 pm Mondays, 9-11 am Tuesdays, 5:30-7:30 pm Wednesdays/Thursdays, 11:30 am-12:30 pm Fridays, 11 am-1 pm Saturdays, 11:30 am-1:30 pm Sundays in Room 3, downstairs in Penfield Library. If you are interested in volunteering, donating or have any questions you can email shop@oswego.edu or call 315-312-2446. Also be sure to show S.H.O.P some support by following them on Facebook @SUNYOswegoSHOP.