Profile: Bowdoin Peer Counseling
Did you stumble home Saturday night, only making it to your
room after knocking profusely on the door you thought was yours - only
to find,through a very nasty encounter with the person residing directly
under you, that "Oh! You're on the third floor, not the fourth,"?
Did you eventually stumble into your room, tripping over your unopened
orgo. book and finally land on that failed physics test you banished to
the floor in a frustrated rage? And when you eventually found the strength
to peel yourself off the floor, did you notice that your roommate was
not alone? In fact, she was with the person you thought you were kindA-sorta-quasi
If any part of this night rings a bell and you never felt
there was a solution to your sorrows, have no fear-there is a remedy:
Bowdoin's new peer counselors. Although in my introduction, I make light
of this situation, Peer Counseling and Advising is a serious organization
committed to the well-being of the community.
Founded by Whitney Morris '03 and Dennis Kiley '03, Peer
Counseling and Advising is a newly established group on campus this year.
The group is broken down into 2 subgroups: members and affiliates. Members
meet once a week for an hour and a half. Affiliates are less actively
involved and participate only when time permits.
Meetings typically consist of either a training session
with Bernie Hershberger, a psychologist from the Counseling Center, or
an informational meeting with other support groups, such as the on-campus
group Warriors or outside resources, like Merrymeeeting Aids.
All meetings are confidential, as are any talks Peer Counselors
have with students who seek a supportive listener. The main goal of the
group is to provide counseling, support, referrals, and information concerning
a wide range of issues. These trained students are here to be a resource
to the Bowdoin community for those who are reluctant to turn to the Counseling
Center. Founded with the hope of supporting and educating the campus,
the group is also involved in outreach and sponsoring programs for the
Already, the Peer Counseling and Advising program has set
up a table in the SU in order to provide the community with stress dots
and informative pamphlets about possible areas of stress in one's life.
Keep an eye open for more upcoming activities and programs.
So, when you finally make it to your room and realize the
traumatizing fact that you will be sleeping on the couch for the night,
just remember the Peer Counselors are always there as a resource. In the
words of Dennis Kiley, "our group realizes students confront and
deal with many issues on a daily basis, and we are trained to assist with
these problems, from homesickness to depression. We are always here for
support, and we want nothing more than to help others and make a difference
in the community".
Peer Counselors may be contacted via email, phone number, or SU box; this information is posted on flyers around campus.