For the past year, I have maintained a blog for the peer educators in the Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Prevention Program. The purpose of the blog was to keep the students up to date on current events relating to issues of sexual assault, relationship violence, and gender. The hope is to expand their dialogue about these topics, and to provide them with current events that their students in the workshops may discuss or know about.
The response from the Peer Eds last year had been underwhelming to say the least. I received few comments on articles, and, by monitoring the traffic through google, I could tell that there was very little visitation. Although this was the least of the program’s concerns throughout the year, it still told me something about the lack of exuberance for the material exhibited by our students. Likely, this was a product of the rocky year that we had: delays in programming, loss of Peer Educators, and small turnout for our workshops. Why participate in the blog if it was part of a program that was shaky to begin with?
Fortunately, this year’s group is mostly new, and has no history with the program’s struggles. Our first post of the year, put up over a week ago, has generated a large response. We have had as many comments on this post as we did all last year. The comments are thoughtful, intelligent, and positive. The students have picked out the elements I was hoping, and have brought up some new ideas I hadn’t thought of. And all of this over the summer. I am hoping that these discussions will continue throughout the summer, and provide solid momentum into training and the workshops.