Peer Education Program plugs on while search for director continues

Gabe Davis

The Peer Education Program is in the process of hiring a new director, but in the meantime, business will continue as usual.

Dave Haden, former director of the Peer Education Program, resigned last year to take a job in the Department of Residence at the University of Minnesota.

While Vernon Wall, assistant dean of students, helps to lead the search for a new director, Linda Ciccone, coordinator for the Substance Abuse Program, is serving as interim leader.

At the beginning of the semester, Ciccone appointed staff members who would work with the new director to be on a screening committee. They are responsible for looking through all the applications and finding potential candidates, she said.

The chosen candidates then will have a series of interviews, including one with Ciccone, the screening committee, staff members from the residence halls and student leaders.

All of these groups will rate the candidates before one is selected, she said.

The Peer Education Program serves as an awareness committee to the residence halls, fraternities, sororities, classrooms and church youth groups in the area to raise awareness about current college issues.

“The program has a small list of talks they discuss with other students,” Wall said.

The Peer Education Program is made up of students who want to raise the awareness of the topics such as alcohol abuse, drug abuse and date rape.

“Anyone can get involved with the program if they have the dedication and commitment to raise the awareness of these issues among other students,” Ciccone said. “We don’t set out to preach at students; we simply want to raise their awareness about how to stay out of potentially dangerous situations.”

The program was started by students in the early ’90s and was based out of Student Counseling Services. It later was transferred to the Student Activities Center.