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The Peer Pod booth on the third floor of Baker University Center, promoting healthy sexual choices on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2019.

Peer Pod provides sexual and health education programs

The Peer Pod in Baker Center 339 provides Ohio University students with guidance and answers to their sexual health concerns.

The Peer Pod was created this year when the Health Promotion Office switched locations with the Campus Involvement Center. The new space allows for more student programming and better visibility.

“It’s just kind of a space for other students if they have anything they need,” Alyssa Battaglia, a senior studying biological sciences, said.

The Pod offers a variety of programming with its most well-known one being Hump Day. Every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Hump Day features free condom demonstrations and the Pod passes out free condoms. Hump Day also includes program sessions to talk about STIs, STI prevention and pregnancy prevention. 

There are also a variety of other health promotion materials, flyers and free items available at the Peer Pod, Serena Verweire, the Pod’s graduate assistant, said. The Pod also talks about health issues revolving around alcohol and drug awareness. 

Every month, the Pod puts on a free program for students, Verwire said. Next month’s presentation will be about vaping.  

The Peer Pod is run in association with POWER/GAMMA and Better Bystanders. POWER/GAMMA is a peer health education group that covers a variety of health topics from safe sex to mental health, Verweire said. Better Bystanders is a program predominantly about the prevention of interpersonal violence.  

“I think it’s nice that it’s peers that are talking about the things that are happening and not the professors or even advisors,” Prestin Minter, a junior studying journalism, said. “It really adds that level of our Bobcat responsibility for each other health-wise.”

Students can make one-on-one appointments with Verweire, but the Peer Pod is designed to be more of a walk-in program. It is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m Monday through Friday.  

“I think it’s nice to have something that’s super accessible that anyone could just talk up to it,” Minter said.  

The Peer Pod is also looking to create more programming to increase promotion, such as potentially doing a lunch-and-learn and increasing signage. Most events held by the Peer Pod are currently posted to Bobcat Connect. 

The Peer Pod and POWER/GAMMA also does all of the first-year alcohol programmings that are required for learning communities.

If students are looking to get involved with the Peer Pod or join the staff, they must submit an application and then do an interview.


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