Sunday, May 24, 2015
Dear Future Charge Peer Educator,
C.H.A.R.G.E. is going to be your opportunity to have a voice and let it be known. You will now have the chance to have programs, dialogues, discussions, and etc. Being a C.P.E gave me a wonderful chance to come out my oyster and introverted circle and become more engaging and out there with the students. Also, being a C.P.E will also give you sources throughout the school, such as Leiry, Ekow King, and other important higher positions with Residential Life and Student Involvement. Whenever you get afraid and don't know exactly what to do, in regards to an idea, discussion, or anything, do not panic. Remember, you have a team and sources that are willing to help you because you are a reflection and a part of them. C.H.A.R.G.E. is a small family and they'll always want to see success from you and everything you're associated with. Future C.H.A.R.G.E. Peer Educator, get ready for the experience you're about to have because it'll be an enjoyable and memorable one.
Dear New CPE,
Congratulations on the new position! You are now a part of Residential Life and Intercultural Student Engagement. You have become an integral part of the University at Albany, and many will look to you as a role model.
The CHARGE mission is to increase cultural competency on campus through programming and dialogues. Cultural competency encompasses not just multiculturalism, but also race, LGBT issues, class conflict, religion, nationality, etc. You name a controversial issue, and CHARGE needs to be able to handle it. This is what makes the CHARGE Peer Educator position unique and laudable, however, this is also what makes the position very challenging.
With the CPE position comes much responsibility, not in terms of a mandatory check list of things to do, but rather, in terms of self-initiative. YOU decide the topics of the dialogues you facilitate. YOU decide what issues or programs on campus you would like to personally support with the CHARGE brand, whether by promotion or your presence. YOU decide what everyday conversations about controversial issues you would like to engage in with the students around you. Once people realize what CHARGE is and that you are a CPE, you are held to a higher standard on campus. In fact, I believe it is even more important for a CPE to “practice what you preach” than any other position on staff. So, research, research, research those topics you are likely to speak out about!
Another challenge to the CPE position is that you are one of a kind on your individual quad staffs. This may make it difficult to stay updated and involved with the other staff, as sometimes you do not really feel like you belong. Nevertheless, you can combat this right away by making a point to get to know your staff, hang out with your staff in the quad office, and maybe even attend some small staff meetings. This is what I did, so I felt much more in the loop. On the flipside, make a point of getting to know your fellow CPEs as well! You may be spread far and wide, but it will pay off if you can create a real connection with each other.
Lastly, I want to make sure you know that despite the challenges, being a CHARGE Peer Educator will be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. You will truly feel as if you are fighting for a cause and making the world a better place, as cheesy as that sounds. You can tell people your job description and it will demand respect (from most) because they will recognize that it takes a strong, intelligent, and capable person to do this job. And of course, you are contributing to making the University a place where all who respect the rights of others are welcome and embraced.
Good luck, and do not be afraid to reach out! I will be on Colonial Quad staff as an RA, but I will always be eager to assist CHARGE in all its future endeavors!
As a returner of the new and revamped CHARGE Peer Educators model of Residential Life, there are a couple of concerns and tips I have coming into the new academic year. This past academic was a wild one. The CHARGE job description changed on more than one occasion along with our supervisors. It makes it difficult to adjust when things are rapidly changing. With that said, these concerns can be taken as tips to run a smoother and more successful year.
1. I feel as a way to promote our brand more, there should be at least some type of dialogue, program, or program collaboration with CHARGE happening in each quad. We should have our large scale programs set in advance in the beginning of the academic year with a rain date set just in case. It makes it a lot easier when things are planned and organized.
2. CHARGE Peer Educators should be more involved in their quads and staff members. We should all be doing the same thing with the same expectations set because it doesn’t help when students ask us what we do and who we are and there is no clear answer about it since we are all doing something different. This is very important because it ruins our branding.
3. We REALLY need these CHARGE freebies to hand out because it is a good way to sell ourselves. People don’t stop by at our table just to hear us speak. They give us their time, we give them a prize. This should be figured out during training week so we have them during the school year.
4. When we brainstorm ideas that people seem to agree on, we need to make a point of committing to these programs or ideas.
Dear Future CPE’s
When we look at today, we see the horrors of misunderstanding. From Trial to Trial. Protest to Protest. Death to Death. Riot to Riot. History is repeating itself. This is because REVOLUTIONS MAKE THE WORLD GO AROUND. What does this mean to you? This means that your job is as important now than ever before. You are now the catalyst for the evolution of young minds. Where you can push them to understand their implicit biases. Where you can teach them to understand the forgotten, the discriminated, the oppressed and overall the misunderstood. As a CHARGE Peer Educator, I began to have these conversations with scholars on this campus. I hope that you continue to have these conversations because as I said.....History is repeating itself; REVOLUTIONS MAKE THE WORLD GO AROUND.