Mentoring matters

Ali Chiavetta
Features Writer

It’s the time of year when student residential housing job applications are being released. While application deadlines for orientation leaders, resident assistants and senior desk attendants have passed, there is still time to apply to be a peer mentor.

Peer mentors work for the Department of Housing and Residential Programs here at Millersville. Peer mentors go through the application, interview and hiring process like any other student job on campus. There may be around 14 or 15 peer mentors hired for the given year and placed in residence halls across campus. Peer mentors work specifically with first year students, so they are usually placed in freshmen residence halls and wings.

Peer mentors help freshmen transition to the college lifestyle.
Peer mentors help freshmen transition to the college lifestyle.

Diehm, Harbold, Hull, Gaige and Bard halls all have residential peer mentors that live in their buildings and work with their residents. The main job of a peer mentor is to be a resource for residents. Peer mentors often help first year students handle academic, emotional and other problems that may arise in their lives. They often are the go-betweens for students to get them the appropriate assistance they need.

Peer mentors work closely with academic tutors, resident assistants and the campus Counseling Center in order to provide proper resources for residents. Each peer mentor is also assigned to a First Year Experience (FYE) class for the fall semester. Students in their FYE class are often residents of the building they live in. They attend the class once a week, helping students with assignments and projects.

They are given time at the beginning of class to give announcements of upcoming events and cultural happenings around campus. The peer mentors are the students who sign off on the event cards for FYE students, certifying that they attended the necessary campus and cultural events. Programs called TOTs (That’s on Tuesday!) are held each Tuesday night throughout the fall semester. Peer mentors are each assigned to lead one TOTs program and are often paired up, or placed in groups, with peer mentors from other buildings.

Their position requires them to attend weekly Wednesday night staff meetings in their respective buildings. Peer mentors are required to hold five weekly office hours, either in their rooms or in the library. Students can make appointments to meet with their peer mentor, discussing academic or personal issues.

Sophomore Peer Mentor Aubrey Morris of Bard Hall discusses her favorite part of the job, “My favorite part of being a peer mentor is helping freshmen with academic and personal issues. I like watching their academic progress, and seeing them grow. They come in as nervous freshmen, but by the spring semester, they have everything under control. It’s really cool to see how much they grow.” The applications for the peer mentor position are found on the Millersville website under the Housing category.

The application packets are due by noon on March 14, 2014 to the Housing office located in Harbold Hall. In order to apply, students need appropriate recommendations from both a current peer mentor, as well as one other person. If assisting first year students with their academic and emotional transition to college sounds like the job for you, consider applying to become a peer mentor for the 2014-2015 school year!