A new program that will soon be available at Hartshorn Health
Service will offer students who are uncomfortable talking to the
Hartshorn staff about sex, tobacco, drugs and alcohol a new option:
talk to a fellow student.
The health center is expanding its services to students by
offering the Creating Respect and Educating Wellness program.
Students who become CREW members will be trained and certified
as peer educators and will begin working with other students on
campus in the fall semester.
Deb Morris, a health educator at Hartshorn, believes students
may feel most comfortable talking with each other about sensitive
“Students talk to each other about these issues. Trained
students will help decrease continuation of myths and
misinformation,” Morris said.
Gwen Sieving, a health educator at Hartshorn and the CREW
director, said there is less awareness about such health issues
because there are not many health educators at Hartshorn and there
are so many students.
“As one of the three people working in health promotions (at
CSU) there is clearly not enough visibility on campus. If we gain
more peer educators we will gain more people on our team which
equals more awareness,” Sieving said.
Senior Molly White, a health and exercise science major, is
assisting Sieving with the formation of CREW. She believes peer
education can be an asset to students.
“Peer education is proven to increase healthy behaviors among
young people and decrease risky ones,” White said. “Peer educators
will be able to inform students and increase awareness in (health)
CREW will primarily focus on three health topics: sexual health,
tobacco use and drug and alcohol education.
Sieving and White are both encouraging students to apply to
become a part of the CREW program.
“Anyone who has struggled in the past and has learned lessons
and is willing to share insight from their personal experiences
would be very beneficial to the CREW program,” Seiving said.
Students are constantly sent to authority figures to deal with
personal issues, Seiving said.
CREW will lessen that stigma by placing the focus on students
discussing health topics with peers.
CREW wants to encourage people of all academic majors to bring
their unique skills and perspectives into the program by coming to
Hartshorn to get involved.
“My concern is CREW will only attract people who have not had
any experiences with risky behavior (and it will have) an
attraction to the female population,” Sieving said. “But CREW needs
male educators (also).”
The CREW program is volunteer-based and will be funded by
student fees, Morris said. “Hartshorn Health Center has two
missions: one being to offer clinical services to students and the
other being to meet the educational part of the mission, which is
hopefully what CREW will help to provide,” Morris said.
CREW is a way for students to be advocates for wellness
programs. The direct access the peer educators will have to health
educators will enable them to provide accurate information to other
students, Morris said.
“CREW’s goal will be to provide accurate information in a fun
manner,” she said.
CREW applications are available in the Hartshorn health
promotions department and are due on March 22. Training will begin
the following week.
“This program is something people are going to be proud to be a
part of,” Seiving said. “This is an opportunity to give back, to
make a difference on people’s lives, and contribute to people who
are not necessarily on the right path.”