Peer Education Program
The Peer Education Group is an amazing opportunity to be part of an organization dedicated to education, awareness, and making a real difference in the campus community and beyond. Students who join become part of a group of similarly action-minded, critical thinkers who learn from both each other and the intensive RSVP training – and they have lots of fun while doing it!
About the Peer Education Program
The RSVP Peer Education Program offers students the unique opportunity to become activists on their own campus and beyond. The program provides a vehicle for students to grow as gifted leaders in facilitating discussions and educating peers about sexual violence prevention. RSVP Peer Educators are selected through an application and interview process, and they receive approximately 20 hours of training over the course of one weekend retreat. The training destabilizes commonly-held beliefs and teaches the real facts about sexual assault and dating violence, and then it contextualizes sexual violence within the larger picture of rape culture, racism, sexism, heterosexism, transphobia, and other intersections. Peer educators leave the training with the essential skills they need to lead effective discussions on these sensitive topics.
On campus, RSVP's Peer Educators facilitate workshops on acquaintance rape, rape culture, gender, sexuality, and consent in the media, healthy communication, and the role of alcohol and other drugs in sexual assault. These workshops can be requested by student groups throughout the University, including dorm houses, RSOs, fraternities, sororities, and classrooms, as well as occasionally in the Chicago community outside of the University.
Become a Peer Educator
We need bright, energetic students willing to commit the necessary time and effort to RSVP for the entire academic year. Because of year-long commitment, the best time to get involved is as soon as the academic year begins in the fall (or even the spring/summer before the next academic year starts).
Each fall, RSVP Peer Educators attend a weekend training retreat off-campus. The training is provided entirely free, at no cost to the Peer Educators – all meals, lodging, and transportation are paid for by RSVP. The retreat provides an opportunity for the new cohort of Peer Educators to get to know one another while also stretching their preconceptions and beliefs regarding sexual violence and rape culture.
“The entire weekend retreat just left me blown away,” one Peer Educator expressed, “I had no idea how much I didn’t know, how much there was to learn.”
RSVP is open to all U of C students, regardless of year, major, or degree program. We especially encourage students of color, male students, and graduate students to get involved.
To apply, please fill out the application document below and send it via email to Vickie Sides.
The RSVP Program Coodinator is a paid position held by an undergraduate student who has significant experience in sexual violence prevention. This student is responsible for handling the day-to-day affairs of the Peer Education Program, including leading regular meetings and organizing workshops. The Program Coordinator works closely with the Director of RSVP to plan RSVP events and activities, collaborate with on- and off-campus organizations, and implement new RSVP initiatives, like UChicago's Consent Condoms. To learn more about the Program Coordinator position, please contact Vickie Sides.
General Volunteer Program
Still interested in volunteering, but not ready to commit to becoming a Peer Educator? Volunteers are always needed to help raise awareness about sexual assault prevention on campus. General volunteers assist in peer outreach and event planning, as well as on an as-needed basis depending on their individual skill set. Volunteers work closely with the Program Coordinator to conceive, plan and implement events ranging from guest speakers to days of service and other activities related to sexual violence prevention.