Mentors help students with commuter experience

Stevenson University created a Peer Mentor Program for commuter students in order to help commuter students become involved in campus life and overcome any obstacles they may face.

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The commuter mentor executive board helps commuters get involved with on campus activities. (Photo from Stevenson University Facebook page)

“Our goal is simple: connect students to Stevenson,” said Lydia Tippett, vice president of commuter outreach for the Commuter Student Association at Stevenson University.

According to Tippett, “transitioning to college can be difficult. Residents have roommates, suite mates, resident assistants, and specific events geared toward acclimating them to campus. Commuters don’t have any of that.”

Tippett explained that the new organization simply wants to help commuters feel like Stevenson is their home.

The Peer Mentor Program’s mission states, “Stevenson understands that this group faces specific challenges when making the transition to college and aims to alleviate these struggles while building a sense of community.”

The program emerged with the help of Daniel Schwartz, assistant director of Student Activities, the Commuter Student Association E-Board, and Tippett, in the fall of 2015. By spring 2016, the mentors started the training process, and fall 2016 is the first semester in which the program is active.

According to Schwartz, there are currently 13 mentors and 17 mentees who are a part of program. He hopes this number will double by next year, and Tippett hopes it will become a staple of Stevenson orientation as they work to get the word out about the program.

STEVENSON SUPPORTS COMMUTER MENTORS

“President Manning has been very excited about our efforts, and Claire Moore, vice president of Student Affairs, has been our No. 1 fan. We also received lots of support from different offices on campus focused on training our mentors,” said Tippett. She hopes the support will continue to grow as the program becomes more prominent on campus.

Any commuter can apply to be a mentee, but it takes more to be a mentor. Mentors engage in a training process that includes speakers from the Academic Link and Academic Support Services, Career Services, Security, library, Real Peer Educators, and Wellness, explained Tippett, in order for the mentors to be as well rounded and “Stevenson-savvy” as possible.

PEER MENTOR REQUIRMENTS

Peer mentors must meet several requirements. These include a Stevenson cumulative GPA of 2.75, the completion of at least 12 credits at Stevenson, good standing with the university, a positive attitude, and an openness to both resident and commuter students.

Those interested in becoming a peer mentor or mentee in this program should visit the commuter section homepage of the SU Now Portal to apply.

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