Ensuring the social health and well-being of all Pacific University students may seem like an impossible task, but it is the principal purpose of Pacific’s Campus Wellness Center.
Improving the social well-being of students on campus can take on many different forms, from peer advocacy programs to weekly wellness workshops, all the way to open discussions on topics like sexual
consent, toxic masculinity and healthy relationships.
This spring, the Campus Wellness Center is hosting several events themed around a number of social health issues as part of its on-going educational outreach.
According to Campus Wellness Coordinator Kathleen Converse, the month of February, which tends to experience a spike in interpersonal violence, will showcase events focusing on healthy relationships.
On Feb. 22, the Campus Wellness Center will screen the film “The Mask You Live In,” which examines the narrow ideals of masculinity which contribute to relationship violence. A discussion on gender norms, lead by Gender and Sexuality Professor Jason Damron and an advocacy group called “Men Engaging Now,” which works to end interpersonal violence, will follow the screening.
During March the Campus Wellness Center will focus on self-harm reduction tactics. The Campus Wellness Center will coordinate with Residence Life to host a Spring Break Pre-Party on March 19, which will help teach students about safe alcohol consumption, consent and other social health issues that are especially common during the time of year.
April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness month, will see the Campus Wellness Center partnering up with the Multicultural Center and Center for Gender Equity to create a month worth of programming. The three campus centers have decided the theme for this year’s Sexual Assault Awareness month is
“Intersectionality: This Affects Us All.”
According to Converse, the main events for Sexual Assault Awareness Month will take place on April 19 and 20.
“We will have a resource fair and a rally with speakers talking about sexual assault and intersectionality leading into Take Back the Night,” Converse said.
Take Back the Night is a march for survivors of sexual assault, and anyone who wants to support them.
“Because the events of April 19 can be really heavy with sexual assault survivors sharing their stories, April 20 will be devoted to self-care,” Converse said.
The Campus Wellness Center will offer students several different ways in which to de-stress and practice self-care on April 20 from 12-5 p.m. in the Burlingham Hall Conference Room.
The Campus Wellness Center also has a brand new team of peer advocates this semester. Peer advocates are students who have experience working as wellness educators and who have gone through an extra 40 hours of state training to become qualified as confidential resources students can turn to for
help with relationship problems, unwanted sexual experiences and other interpersonal problems.
“My hope for the peer advocacy program is that it will get more people to come forward and share their experiences,” Converse said. “Especially if they’re more comfortable talking to a peer.”
A list of the new peer advocates can be found on the Campus Wellness Center’s page on the Pacific