Mar 102004
 
Authors: Brittany Bouldin

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

health issues.

“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)

topics.”

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.”

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