Peer programs are a key part of the student support network at Queen’s and to highlight the work being done, as well as recruit new volunteers, the Division of Student Affairs hosted the first Peer Week.
A full schedule of events was held Jan 23-27, from information booths and a presentation by Chancellor Jim Leech on the importance of mentorship for mental health to a recruitment information session and a lunchtime bowl of soup.
Peer programs at Queen’s provide support for all undergraduate and graduate students, covering a range of areas such as wellness, mentorship and academic success.
“Peer Week is about raising awareness of current programming on campus, recruiting new volunteers and thanking our current volunteers for the many hours they dedicate to supporting their peers,” says Cassandra de Bartok, Mentor Program Coordinator. “There are a number of benefits to having a peer support network on campus. Student Affairs takes a holistic approach to student success at Queen’s and each peer program plays a different, and important, role in supporting students while they’re here.”
The volunteer positions also provide meaningful and relevant experience, skill development, and excellent training for those taking part in the programs.
“A network of support allows professional staff to coordinate recruitment, training, programming and promotional efforts. Over the next few months we will be developing core competencies for our volunteers to develop during their time with each program. This allows our volunteers to choose positions not only based on professional area of interest but also based on the skill set they might like to develop,” Ms. De Bartok says. “For our volunteers, a network of peer support means knowing that they are backed in their roles both by staff and by other volunteers across programs. They are able to see that they are part of something bigger than just their own program and it gives them opportunities to network.”
All programs are currently accepting applications. The deadline to apply is Sunday, Feb. 5 at midnight. For more information on how to apply to each program, click on the links below.
- Aboriginal Peer Helpers support first-year Aboriginal students to encourage spiritual, mental, physical and emotional support during their first transition year.
- Peer Mentors provide both academic and personal support to fellow students in a one-on-one coaching and mentoring relationship. Mentors support students in all years and all programs.
- Peer Learning Assistants (PLAs) help students learn how to be more productive and effective learners by facilitating learning strategies workshops and providing drop-in academic coaching.
- Peer Writing Assistants (PWAs) volunteer at the Writing Centre to help other students develop their writing skills through workshops and one-on-one consultations.
- Peer Health Educators (PHEs) share their interest in health promotion by developing and implementing health outreach initiatives – presentations, displays and campus-wide events.
- COR Volunteers provide hands-on care to intoxicated students at the Campus Observation Room (COR), an on-campus detox center. COR volunteers also do campus-wide outreach.
- Leave the Pack Behind volunteers and paid student staff help support smoking cessation through campus outreach, social media and collaboration with other schools across Ontario.
- Career Services Peers (CS Peers) help students communicate important messages in their resumes or cover letters through 1-1 appointments at Career Services (or drop-in clinics).
- English Language Buddies at the Queen’s University International Centre provide English language support to international students.
For further information or to find a program visit the Division of Student Affairs website.