Want to talk to your peers about sexual assault and relationship violence? Develop your public speaking and leadership skills?
Violence Prevention Educators (VPEs) give presentations to college peers on the issues of sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and other related topics. They gain language skills to have conversations with friends and community members to foster change through leadership development.
In 2013-2014 we presented to over 7,000 campus indivuduals with around 20 VPEs and 3 staff to facilitate those presentations and conversations!
VPEs average between 3 - 16 hours per month, depending on the level of involvement. While there are consistent VPE meetings every other week in the school year, the presentations that are available are dependent upon when they are requested and scheduled. Presentations may be on weekends, evenings, and during the day. Being a VPE offers a mix of regular volunteer hours, either by attending meetings regularly or helping out in the office on a scheduled shift, with the flow of available presentations that may (or may not) fit your schedule. For the most part, VPEs succeed in facilitating at least one presentation per semester and some VPEs facilitate 4 - 5 in an academic year.
Also, for every presentation a VPE signs up for, there are 2 - 3 practice times that VPEs must attend. Practices are scheduled based on the availability of the presenters who sign up and last about an hour to an hour and a half.
Violence Prevention Educators join theHelp Line Advocates, Office Advocates, and Special Projects Volunteers in meeting throughout the semester. Contact Jerie Smith with any questions. Attendance at meetings is a requirement to volunteer.
All meetings are on Saturdays and scheduled 10:00am - 2:00pm
Current volunteers can LOGIN HERE to see the schedule. (Or at the upper right tab of the website where it says "Login".)
Logistics and Expectations
Volunteers in training will have many opportunities to ask questions pertaining to the position, especially what it will be like to give presentations or answer a difficult question from an audience, but provided here is a brief and limited description of what is expected.
The initial training provided to VPEs prepares them to begin practicing rather than ready to present. Facilitating presentations takes time and practice and we lead you through the learning process in building your confidence and skills. For any presentation they sign up for, VPEs are provided an outline and materials to help them prepare. With personalized training and practice, VPEs feel well prepared to then present.
As mentioned, VPEs sign up for presentations and they do so by responding to emails sent from the Violence Prevention Education Coordinator. It is a first-come-first-serve process so checking your email is important. We request a two weeks' notice from people who are looking for a presentation but on occasion, we may only have a week to prepare. To give you a general idea, there is about two - three weeks' notice for presentations you can sign up for.
We slow down during the summer in terms of presentations but we do have a few. If VPEs are not available during the summer break, that's okay - they are still able to maintain involvement and volunteer during the academic year.
Traci Thomas-Card supervises the VPEs in their work with presentation audiences, schedules practices and presentations, and trains VPEs. Please see the Volunteer Page for training information, or download the volunteer application packet (PDF).