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Peer Education

Fraternity men learn by teaching others

Published Nov. 13, 2015
Story by Christine Jackson
Photo by Tiffany Melecio

Nick Danter stands in the main stairwell of the MU Student Center

Nick Danter, a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity, is helping educate his peers about sexual assault. "The most surprising thing is probably the fact that I've learned just as much from [my peers] as from the [expert] speakers," Danter says.

With the issue of sexual assault gaining more visibility nationally and at Mizzou, Interfraternity Council (IFC) student executives decided to resurrect a peer education program to help “make sexual assault and rape a men’s issue,” says Nick Danter, IFC’s vice president for programming.

While presenters from the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) Center had visited fraternities in the past, it was decided that an inner-community group could be even more effective in providing informative, discussion-based presentations to their peers.

Four of the 14 current IFC peer educators had previously participated in RSVP Center training; the rest have completed training from outside facilitators on consent, alcohol and drugs, men and masculinity, and Title IX to prepare them to educate and answer the questions of their peers. 

“I’m not in there being the boss at all,” says Danter, a senior mechanical engineering major from St. Louis. “I’m in there just trying to get those guys to talk and share their opinions on these issues. It’s been a learning experience for all of us.”

Danter and Trace McGarry, IFC vice president for risk management, are behind the scenes of the operation, working on the scheduling, logistics and future of the program. They meet with RSVP Center adviser Kim Scates and are taking cues from a successful, similar operation at Indiana University that boasts roughly 300 members.

“Growing up as a male, I’ve never really had to necessarily be afraid or think of the effects of sexual assault before,” Danter says. “It’s made me more aware of how you have to look out for other people and the actions of your peers and how they can affect others.”

This story was originally published in the division annual report, 2015 Student Affairs Highlights.

Published by the Division of Student Affairs, 211 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211 | Phone: 573-882-6776 | Fax: 573-882-0158 | E-mail: StudentAffairs@missouri.edu

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Last updated: Aug. 15, 2017