Sex, Lies and Chocolate is a three-round game in which sexual knowledge ranging from STI’s to playful positions is rewarded with a little aphrodisiac, a chocolate kiss. This is one of the many attention-grabbing presentations Peer Educators offers to inform students on a variety of topics, including sexual health, alcohol and body image.
Peer Educators consists of two peer health education organizations The Network and Men Against Violence. Kelly Stone, health education coordinator, said The Network began between 1997 and 1998. They promote wellness and influence students to display healthy attitudes and behavior during their college years.
Stone said peer education receives positive feedback from students because they respond better to hearing about sensitive topics and situations from someone their own age.
Men Against Violence touches on subjects such as acquaintance rape and provides students with male and female perspectives of situations.
Stone said male students respond better when they hear a male point of view telling them what behavior is okay or not.
The peer educators consist mostly of undergraduate students and are advised by Student Health Services and the Health Promotions.
Members go through a training weekend in which they are taught by Stone and Julie Eckert, assistant director of the Student Health Center.
Continuous training is also provided during weekly meetings.
Stone said the topics provided by The Network and Men Against Violence are especially relevant and important to students because the state of Texas only provides education on abstinence.
Peer educators offer new information to students who may not have had the opportunity to be educated in a regular health class.
“We want to improve your knowledge, skills and attitude about these topics,” Stone said.
“Typically if you feel better, you feel more confident that you know the right information. This will change your behavior and you’ll be more likely to do healthier things.”
Marci Kile, president of Peer Educators, said the presentations handle any topics college students deal with daily. Kile, accounting junior, said if students are going to be engaging in these activities, it is important to be aware of what the consequences could be.
“We’re not here to preach to people. We’re here to make them aware and help them make good decisions along their journey, so they focus on what’s important during their time at school,” Kile said.
Kile said students at the presentations are usually quiet because they don’t know what to say, or if they should ask questions about myths they have heard from peers. She said being a part of The Network has taught her how to adapt to different people’s personalities and the way they react.
Brandon Pendleton, sexual assault primary prevention educator at the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center, is an alumnus of Texas State and served as a member of The Network during his time as an undergrad. He said he enjoyed giving the different presentations and receiving weird looks as he handed out condoms to students in The Quad.
Pendleton said he is glad he got a chance to be in The Network and practice his public speaking skills. He said it was a good way to realize he wanted to be an educator and opened doors for him to get a job after graduation.
“It’s a great organization if you want to talk to people,” Pendleton said. “Especially if you like talking about sex, drugs and all the things that students are going through.”