By Jack Parsley | Reporter
Peer Leaders have been making a difference on Baylor’s campus since the program was created in 2011. The application to be a Peer Leader is live now and closes Friday at 5 p.m.
“[Peer leaders are] really making a difference on our campus,” said Lizzy Davis, Baylor coordinator for leadership development. “They are going to establish deep relationships with the students that they work with as well as faculty and staff.”
There are six different types of Peer Leaders students can apply to be: community engagement and service, cross-cultural engagement, first in line, health and wellness, mental health and new student experience, according to the Peer Leaders website.
Community engagement and service Peer Leaders and cross-cultural engagement Peer Leaders focus on making a difference in the community, according to the website. Community engagement and service Peer Leaders focus on serving people in a way that creates a lasting impact. Cross-cultural engagement Peer Leaders create dialogues about important social issues.
Health and wellness Peer Leaders and mental health Peer Leaders partner with faculty and staff at Baylor to help educate students about how they can live healthier lives mentally and physically, according to the website. They do this by planning events and giving presentations that provide students with valuable information about health issues.
First in line Peer Leaders and new student experience Peer Leaders focus on building one-on-one relationships with students on campus, the website states. First in line Peer Leaders also work with first-generation college students to prepare them for success at Baylor. New student experience Peer Leaders co-facilitate a U/BU 1000 course with a faculty member to help prepare new students for life at Baylor.
Coppell sophomore Mary-Catherine Crutchfield served as a new student experience Peer Leader in fall 2016. She said she wanted to serve as a Peer Leader after her Peer Leader invested so much in her as a freshman.
“I got to make relationships with faculty that I never would have had if I wasn’t a Peer Leader,” Crutchfield said. “I got to make relationships with my students that went beyond just a Peer Leader-student relationship; they became my friends. I just wanted to make their Baylor experience as great as mine has been.”
No matter which Peer Leader position students serve in, they will get to be mentored by faculty and staff in that area. In addition to being mentored by faculty and staff, Peer Leaders will also get to mentor their fellow students in that same area, according to the website.
Spartanburt, S.C., junior Clara Ruth West said she is applying to be a Peer Leader so she can impact a specific group of new students in the fall.
“I know how awesome freshman year can be, but from my own experience, I also know how hard freshman year can be,” West said. “I want to be a new student experience Leader to be a source of encouragement and to be someone that freshmen can go to when they have a question and don’t know where to find the answer.”
Students can go to http://www.baylor.edu/leadership to find out more information about the Peer Leader Program and to fill out the online application.