The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Peer Anti-Violence Educators lead workshops across campus

Applications to be a peer-educator for the 2023-2024 school year are now open until Feb. 25. (Photo courtesy of @lafayette_pave on Instagram)

The Peer Anti-Violence Educators (PAVE) program is paving the road to a safer campus community.

Since last fall, PAVE has been educating the campus community “on the severity and widespread impact of interpersonal violence by delivering prevention programming,” Carter Siegel ’24, a coordinator for the group, wrote in an email.

Although PAVE is a student-led group, it has committed administrative support via the guidance of Katy Bednarsky, the college’s first student advocacy and prevention coordinator. Siegel explained that with Bednarsky’s support, the group is “able to focus on outreach, prevention education and referral with more guidance from the school.”

“When the role of peer education switched from being the responsibility of a student group to the responsibility of the school, I was immediately drawn to that,” PAVE member Quinn Gregorich ’24 said. PAVE ‘s efforts stem from the work of Pards Against Sexual Assault (PASA), a student group that handed off the peer education responsibility at the beginning of this school year. 

“I saw it as a way to not only spread awareness … but also just to start dialogues about it among students, to give students the vocabulary to be able to talk about this and to lessen the stigma either around sex and sexual health or sexual assault,” Gregorich said.

Recently, the organization has extended the opportunity for workshops to different student groups. Many Greek life organizations have taken them up on the offer.

“There’s a lot of stigma around Greek life, so I think there’s a lot of room to learn and also implement things that are learned in the workshops into day-to-day life with friendships and relationships,” Kelly said. 

Charlie Berman ’24, the president of Delta Kappa Epsilon, believes that these workshops will help raise awareness among fraternity and sorority members.

“I think it’s the next step in education. I know that our workshop is going to be supporting survivors,” Berman said.

Nieve Kelly ’24, a peer educator with PAVE, noted the variety of workshops offered through PAVE. 

“There’s one on bystander intervention, there’s Consent and Campus Culture, there’s Supporting Survivors and then there’s Healthy Relationships,” Kelly said. 

Kelly also emphasized the discussion-based nature of PAVE’s workshops.

“The basis of all of them is some sort of presentation. It’s all very discussion-based. So, we set ground rules, we set expectations, we allow the group to also set any expectations or if they have any group values,” Kelly said.

Max Adams ‘24, a peer educator working with PAVE and a member of Delta Upsilon, hopes the interactive workshops will resonate with the Greek life community.

“A reason why I agree to give them is because they’re so interactive, and it’s more discussion-based than just a lecture, so you know that the people that you’re giving the presentation to are actually actively listening,” Adams said.

When it comes to workshops hosted by the group, Gregorich noted that destigmatizing discussions on sex, sexual health and sexual assault is really important to PAVE.

“I think we’re doing a great job with that,” Gregorich said. “I know it’s starting slowly, but … it has made an impact. And for me, I can definitely see that mostly with the first-year orientation programs that we delivered in the fall semester.”

Groups outside of Greek life can also request these workshops through their Instagram at @lafayette_pave.

Although PAVE typically engages with the campus community via their interpersonal violence prevention workshops, last week, the group hosted a movie screening of “The Notebook” and an interactive healthy relationships bingo.

“The goal of these screenings is to emphasize the importance of media literacy because many times there are signs of unhealthy relationships that are portrayed in popular media that can be perceived as normal,” Siegel said.

Last semester, the group screened “Twilight” with the same goal.

“We want people to know what to look for in healthy and unhealthy relationships on screen because it will make it more evident when there are signs showing up in real life,” Siegel added.

Siegel and Gregorich encouraged any interested first-years, sophomores and juniors to apply through the group’s Instagram page.

“The best thing about PAVE is all of the differences among the people in the group. That’s what makes it so amazing: we all bring our different strengths to the table,” Gregorich said.

Applications for PAVE’s 2023-24 cohort of peer educators are now open through Wednesday, Feb. 22.

Disclaimer: Sports Editor Charlie Berman ’24 did not contribute to writing or editing this article. 

Correction 02/21/23: A previous version of the article incorrectly attributed the quotes about the film screening to Bednarsky instead of Siegel. 

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