PEACE educates students on relationships

There are myriad ways to get involved on the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus. One of those ways is through the PEACE project.

PEACE, or Peer Educators Acting for Change and Equality, is an independent theater troupe that goes around to classrooms at scheduled times to do improv acting on topics such as victim blaming, bystander intervention, inclusive language, language surrounding sexual behavior and ways to navigate healthy friendships and relationships in college. 

PEACE is orchestrated by VARP, the Violence Aware Response Program, and is now run through the Women’s Center.

“Our mission is for students to help educate other students on various topics,” said VARP Interim Director Shadow Rolan. Rolan is also the PEACE advisor, and she participated in the program as an undergraduate student.

Rolan noted that, when it comes to the success of the program, they “think students respond positively and receive information more efficiently when it’s coming from their peers. They tend to be more engaged with asking questions and talking with people their age, and that they may know.”

PEACE meets every other week in the Women’s Center (CSU 218) to practice for any upcoming visits to classrooms. The topics are selected ahead of time for the situation, and then rehearsed to the best of the actors’ abilities. They then go into said classroom and improv off of their previous rehearsals, and what the classroom climate is. 

“We post all dates on the VARP Facebook page, and we will have posters starting next semester,” said Rolan.

You don’t have to be an actor to join PEACE. “It is entirely student-led,” said Rolan, and anyone and everyone is welcome to check it out. “All you really have to do is be interested in educating your peers and spreading the messages that PEACE believes in.”

Rolans favorite part by far, she said, is the student interaction with the program. 

“The responses from students are amazing,” she noted. “The questions and the thank you letters we get from students after we go to their classes have to be the best part.”

More information on the program can be found on the MNSU website under DISH events, or on the VARP Facebook page. The most recent PEACE meeting was November 10, so if you have interest in the program be sure to keep an eye out for an announcement of the next meeting in the upcoming week.

Header Photo: PEACE at MNSU has a mission to educate students and help them navigate adulthood and relationships. (Via Via Violence Awareness and Response Program)

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