The Daily Gamecock

Peer leader program sees record application numbers

University now recruiting U101 student mentors for upcoming semester

The University 101 Peer Leader Program is looking to grow in the coming academic year and is accepting applications for Fall 2012 through Jan. 20 of next semester.

“We’ve already seen a record number of applications,” said Adrienne Mojzik, University 101 peer leader program coordinator. “This time last year, we were worried that we wouldn’t break 30 or 40, but we’re so excited to have 92 before winter break.”

The program has 102 peer leaders this semester. Peer leaders seek to serve as mentors to students in University 101 classes, in which they assist instructors in easing new students through their transition into college.

“I really have a passion for mentoring younger people, which is why I applied to be a peer leader last year,” said third-year biology student Brewer Eberly. “It’s the same reason why I chose to be a resident mentor and why I want to go into medicine, which is based on that time-honored tradition of being taught by someone older. I feel like I have the responsibility to pass on what I learn and leave a legacy.”

Like Eberly, a Capstone Scholar who leads a Capstone U101 section with Capstone Assistant Principal David DeWeil, peer leaders are largely academically successful students who are highly involved on campus.

“We want a role model for what a successful student looks like: someone with a high GPA, a leadership position, who is active in community service, follows the Carolinian Creed, has a lot of pride in being a Gamecock and, most importantly, loves this university and wants to instill that love in freshmen,” Mojzik said. “Really, the ideal student.”

The U101 Peer Leader Program hopes to be able to select about 150 peer leaders this year.

“Our goal is to have a peer leader or a graduate leader in every University 101 class next year,” Mojzik said.

Graduate leaders are graduate students who serve in a similar capacity to peer leaders.

“Right now we don’t have a peer or graduate leader in every U101 class just because there are so many,” Mojzik said.

There are more than 170 sections of U101 this semester.

The Peer Leader Program will honor this year’s group of peer leaders at a dinner on Nov. 30.

“We’ve always wanted to do something to honor and recognize all peer leaders — to have them come together for a night of recognition,” Mojzik said. “(USC) President (Harris) Pastides will be there; Cocky will be there. It’s a time for us to come together and celebrate who they are and thank them for their hard work and dedication. We’re just so proud of them and thankful for what they do for us to make our program so successful.”

Applications are currently being accepted for peer leaders. Interviews will be conducted with applicants this coming semester.

“We need students who are smart, intellectual and involved to be peer leaders,” Eberly said. “We need our fresh new group of Gamecocks to be good citizens. This is one of the most tangible ways to influence our community, and it really forces you to be outside of your personal bubble. Most upperclassmen don’t want to hang out with freshmen or teach freshmen, but they should because they were freshmen once, too.”


Trending Now

Send a Tip Get Our Email Editions