Student Counseling Center

Peer Support Programs

Hamptonians Against Violence Against Women (HAVAW)
Student peer advocate (SPA) application, 2014-2015

The Hampton University Student Counseling and University Health Centers and the Office of the Title IX Coordinator are introducing the University's Reducing Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking on Campus Program funded by the Office on Violence Against Women. The grant is entitled "Hamptonians Against Violence Against Women (HAVAW)."

There will be a total of 10 HU women and men who will be Student Peer Advocates on behalf of education and prevention of gender-based violence and in support of those involved in violence incidents. They will play a key role in the planning and implementation of related prevention awareness and advocacy activities on the campus; therefore, we are seeking students who are motivated, energetic, creative, and interested in the opportunity to create innovative programs. SPAs will work closely with the project Co-Project Directors and Coordinator throughout the academic year, and will be trained to implement the programming.


  • Must be at least a 2nd semester Freshman by January 5, 2015
  • Have an interest in the well-being of the student body and commitment to non-violent peer interaction
  • Have an overall GPA of at least 2.5
  • Must be a demonstrated productive member of a working team
  • Adhere strictly to privacy and confidentiality regulations
  • Able to speak and write grammatically correct standard English
  • Comfortable speaking in public gatherings (not necessarily speech-making)


  • Maintain a weekly 60 minute office hour
  • Actively participate in SPA and HAVAW meetings and trainings
  • Complete all event-related assignments
  • Provide active one-on-one support to students involved in gender-based violence incidents as appropriate for the particular individual
  • Adhere to all program requirements for documentation

Peer Counselor Organization

Peer Counselors Hurricane Sandy Victim Encouragement

Peer Counselors Hurricane Sandy Victim Encouragement

Attired in their Peer Counselor T-shirts (We're here to Help... Listen... Make a Difference), 2012-2013 PCs listen to a question from an interested potential applicant at the 2013 PC Week Information Meeting.

Attired in their Peer Counselor T-shirts ("We're here to Help… Listen… Make a Difference"), 2012-2013 PCs listen to a question from an interested potential applicant at the 2013 PC Week Information Meeting.

The Peer Counselor Organization is an official recognized University organization. It is composed of upperclass students who are selected based upon application, interview, social clearance and minimum 2.5 GPA. They are trained in basic listening, bystander intervention, and referral skills in order to support and assist students who are experiencing personal challenges. They function as peer educators and supporters rather than advice givers and/or counselors, but are held to the same standard of respect and regard as the rest of the staff, including signing a privacy and confidentiality agreement. Rather than exceed their limits, they make referrals to the counseling staff. Peer Counselors are actively involved in building awareness of healthy and safe lifestyle choices, and providing information and activities of a psychosocial nature. They participate in community service projects and often collaborate with other organizations on campus. Some of their typical activities include dorm chats, forums, assistance with mental health screening days, movie nights, social events such as speed dating, Homecoming events and fundraisers.

Peer Counselors (PC) Week generally occurs at the end of January. During this time, they recruit of the following year's PCs; however, students are welcome to stop by the Student Counseling Center for information at any time during the year. PCs meet as a group every Tuesday from 4:30 – 5:30, and have individual office hours in the Counseling Center. They are required to participate in a training weekend in September, and in recent years have received Certified Peer Educator training.

Summer Peer Helpers

The Summer Peer Helpers serve Hampton University's Pre-college/Summer Bridge program to assist rising Freshman students to adjust to the college environment prior to the arrival of the full student body. Peer Helpers are upperclass students who are selected based upon application, interview, social clearance and minimum 2.5 GPA, and are trained in basic listening, bystander intervention, group facilitation and referral skills. Each Peer Helper has a group of students with whom they meet weekly for discussion and social activities. In addition, they are present at every Wednesday Ogden Hall meeting during which they provide assistance to the Pre-college and Freshman Studies staffs as needed. They often stage skits in support of presentations on topics such as substance use, sexual assault prevention, and appropriate use of information technology and social networks.

The DORA Campus Program

The Counseling Center is pleased to embark on year two of the Depression OutReach Alliance (DORA) Campus Program for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. We are recruiting students to become trained student peer educators – "DORA Helpers" – who will host small group discussions with other students regarding mental health with special emphasis on risk factors and signs of depression and suicidal thinking. The goal is to provide HU students with:

  • a safe atmosphere for students to talk about uncomfortable and often frightening feelings and thoughts,
  • information, strategies and comfort with listening to and talking with at-risk friends and associates,
  • guidelines for referring peers to the Counseling Center

By engaging in the above, DORA Helpers will be in the forefront of reducing the stigma associated with seeking mental health counseling. The Program is conducted via Helper-led, one hour small group information sessions that we call "DORA Meet-Ups." Staff Counselors are on-hand during the sessions.

Year one of the program was funded by the HBCU- CFE (Center for Excellence in Behavioral Health) at Morehouse School of Medicine. We also were invited to participate in the 2014 Dr. Lonnie E. Mitchell Behavioral Health Policy Academy. One staff and three (3) students traveled to Atlanta to attend the 2 ½ day Institute last April 4-6 where they presented HU's prevention efforts to the other participating colleges and universities, and developed strategies to maximize our impact on the student body.

Students who are interested in becoming 2014-2015 DORA Helpers are cordially invited to use the link below to access the application.