Peer mentors, new live-in student workers for freshman residence halls, will aid Living Learning Communities.
The Office of University Housing and Residential Life recently created a new student staff position with its Peer Mentor program. The peer mentors will aid in creating supportive and positive communities within on-campus resident facilities, according to the office.
Compensation for the position includes free housing for the academic year.
Although both resident assistant and peer mentor positions require student workers to live in the dorms where they work, peer mentors are assigned to specific Living Learning Communities. Temple currently offers 10 Living Learning Communities, ranging from programs such as “Deciding Student Wing” to “Fox School of Business” to “Peace and Conflict Studies.”
There will be two peer mentor positions available next year. One peer mentor will be assigned to the academic LLCs, and the other will be assigned to the co-curricular LLCs. In the future, the office intends to expand the program.
“I can’t stress enough the role that peer mentors will play in promoting these LLC to new students,” Assistant Director for Assignments and Billing Sean Killion said.
The position is intended to help acquaint students in the LLCs with campus life and assist them in meeting their academic responsibilities. They are expected to be available for students to make one-on-one appointments and are also required to create and maintain helping relationships with students on their designated floors.
“We want to make sure we’re committing resources to help programs that we think will help students’ academic interests,” Killion said. “We’ve taken a look at our budget and decided this is important, and we wanted to commit more resources towards the Living Learning Communities.”
Additionally, peer mentors will work with designated RAs to plan at least one LLC program per semester.
“I like doing it because it’s fun, and as a psych major, watching students and how they interact with each other and their parents is interesting,” Moriah Baxevane-Connel, a sophomore Honors Program peer mentor coordinator, said.
The Honors Living Learning Community has already established a peer-mentoring program designed to help guide prospective Temple Honors students. It is relatively similar to the new, university-wide peer mentor program, with Honors peer mentors working to help orient incoming freshmen around Main Campus.
“I take prospective students around on visits, give them tours, have lunch with them and let them sit in on a class with me,” sophomore chemistry major Megan Jennings, an Honors peer mentor, said.
The new peer mentor program will extend beyond prospective students and work to assist current freshmen living in LLCs within the residences. The peer mentor program is aimed at enhancing the various missions of the current LLCs.
“It’s an additional resource that will help for a smooth transition for incoming students,” Killion said. “We want there to be a peer-to-peer relationship with older students so that they can provide feedback to new students, so that they [can find] answers to the questions they have.”
Grace Dickinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.