California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Students counsel students in sex and sexuality

    As CLU’s Wellness Programs grow, so does the demand for help regarding student health and sexuality. SWELL, a peer education program that branched off from California Lutheran University’s Wellness Programs, is a resource program that trains students to be available for peer education.

    SWELL is designed to provide aid and information to students on campus.

    “We have our Red Watch Band program on campus and that is directed towards alcohol education so we also wanted to branch off into the sexual responsibility education,” said Nina Kuzniak, sexual responsibility intern for Wellness Programs. “We felt our student body would benefit by having a peer education program centered around sexual responsibility, education and awareness.”

    A small sign or badge on their cars or doors identifies SWELL members and indicates they are trained educators.

    The members are trained to answer any questions or concerns students may have regarding their sexual activity. Wellness Programs also provides SWELL educators with condoms and information on how to respond to sexual abuse and how to stay protected during sexual activity, including oral sex.

    Some of SWELL’s plans and goals for the year are to provide the CLU community with peer educators.

    According to Kuzniak, the need for peer educators who can speak about sexual responsibility fosters a healthy community where students can feel supported. Students need to be aware of how to handle difficult situations such as an unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

    For sophomore Elisa Escobar, it is important that CLU has these types of resources, as she feels that students are more likely to reach out to one of their classmates or someone close to their age for guidance and advice.

    “I feel like a lot more students can benefit from programs like SWELL that provide support for those that are sexually active, as well as providing encouragement for those who are choosing to engage in abstinence,” said Escobar.

    The sexual wellness peer educators train for four hours to become certified. During training, they do everything from sexual education 101 to specifics of what being sexually active means.

    They work on active listening skills, crisis management situations and they are equipped with resources and information. This gives SWELL educators a comprehensive, non-biased perspective on all things sex.

    “You should have seen us at our training,” said Amanda Namba, coordinator for student involvement and Wellness Programs. “I was excited to see everyone so involved and participating.”

    Namba and Kuzniak worked on the program together during the summer. They wanted to build a team that felt comfortable talking to their peers and providing support for a community that can become increasingly sexually aware and responsible.

    SWELL will continue to train more students to become educators and help the program grow so they can reach out to the entire CLU community.

     

    Maria Castrejon
    Staff Writer
    Published Nov. 28, 2012

    Leave a Comment

    Comments (0)

    All The Echo Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *