Sunday, May 24, 2015

Dear New CPE... by Thomas Ramos

Dear Future C.H.A.R.G.E Peer Educators,
Working with C.H.A.R.G.E was a wonderful experience. I feel as though I was able to grow tremendously and personally by being a part of C.H.A.R.G.E. The direction that C.H.A.R.G.E is headed in is changing. I was a part of the transition stage, now you will be able to really take C.H.A.R.G.E into the direction it needs to be. Since C.H.A.R.G.E has been in transition from solely program based to more of a dialogue based, there was a lot of uncertainty with exactly what was needed to be done. Now C.H.A.R.G.E is solidifying the exact requirements expected which will make it a lot easier for you to follow hopefully.
                As a departing C.H.A.R.G.E Peer Educator I would like to hand you guys a few tips on your future endeavors. One of the biggest pieces of advices that I can give is to be present on the quad. Talk to all your fellow RAs, WAs, SAs, and CSA. These people are your biggest support system and being friendly with them allows more and more people to know about C.H.A.R.G.E. If you are having a dialogue and let your staff know they will spread the word to their residents which is great. Also, I have worked with some of my staff members on programs that were C.H.A.R.G.E related. Speak to the residents as well, being a C.H.A.R.G.E Peer Educator is no easy tasks and a lot of the time people will ask you “what exactly is C.H.A.R.G.E?”. It gets a bit repetitive to explain exactly what C.H.A.R.G.E is and what you do but if you’re able to have a conversation about it, it tends to open their mind to attending programs/dialogues and actually speaking to their friends about it. Another piece of advice is to attend every meeting, and keep in constant communication with each of the other C.H.A.R.G.E Peer Educators. Missing even one meeting can set you back a huge amount. Keeping it constant communication with each other is key because there are only 6 of you and you will be working with each other a lot. Lastly, manage your time properly. Remember that by accepting this position within Residential Life you have placed school first in your list of priorities and Residential Life immediately after. This is an important skill that working within Residential Life teaches you and it’ll help you out in the future. Allocate your time properly so that your school work and your programs/dialogues don’t have to suffer.
Being a C.H.A.R.G.E Peer Educator is not an easy task, if anything it requires more work because you really have to get the C.H.A.R.G.E brand out there and show people just how amazing it really is. I have expanded my ideas/views on so many topics just because we were able to have dialogues/programs on them. I had very limited knowledge on Transgender Identities, accessibility on campus and how much language has changed over time. C.H.A.R.G.E likes to speak about topics that may be sensitive or touchy to talk about and it’s perfectly fine to do so. There are a lot of topics that people are afraid to talk about but shouldn’t. Every issue matters, and every voice counts.


Thomas Ramos
Former Indian Quad C.H.A.R.G.E Peer Educator

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