Peer Educators are NMSU students working through WAVE to deliver information and strategies about wellness and risk reduction to their NMSU peers. Students share with students the facts about hot topics so their peers can make well-informed decisions.
Research Based Strategies
WAVE prioritizes using prevention and outreach strategies that have been proven effective through reputable research. While still encouraging original ideas from peer educators, WAVE uses research-based methods in order to serve the community with the best practices.
People tend to make decisions based on their perception of how their fellow peers would behave in a similar situation. Unfortunately, many people have many misperceptions of how their peers really do behave. For example, students may overestimate the amount of alcohol fellow students consume and underestimate how many students choose to not drink.
Social norming clarifies the actual behavior of fellow students, so students can make better decisions regarding their own behavior. WAVE collects information from students twice annually in order to have social norms directly represent NMSU student lifestyle choices. For example, according to WAVE’s 2013 CORE Survey, “71% of students reported that they did not drive under the influence within the past year.”
Multiple Exposures to Information
Recognizing that one exposure to information will have little impact, WAVE strives to provide many opportunities for students to receive prevention information and tools, using both written and verbal materials.
From Knowledge to Empowerment
Knowledge can only be effective if people know how to use the information in real-life situations. Through interactive presentations and skits with peer educators, WAVE encourages students to go beyond understanding the information and learn how they can apply it on their own.
The purpose of WAVE is to provide programming that will positively impact the behavior of the student population in various levels:
- Groups: particularly high risk groups such as freshmen, Greek community and athletics
- Community: creating and/or supporting a community culture that encourages safe environments in regard to alcohol and violence prevention