CTC to offer ‘Lunch-n-Learn’ sessions

Nicole Ares

The Counseling & Testing Center will offer new group outreach sessions this fall in hopes of educating a wider audience about the everyday issues and concerns of faculty, students and staff.

During the Lunch-n-Learn sessions, topics such as student identity development, mindfulness, assertiveness, self esteem, loss/grief and suicide prevention will be discussed.

Peggy Crowe, director of the CTC, said these are not counseling sessions, but rather a way for attendees to learn new skills, concepts and ways help better understand one another.

“Any time we can offer faculty, staff, and students information to better educate and inform about our everyday interactions, I believe we will have an impact on the WKU community,” Crowe said.

Lunch-n-Learn, newly introduced this semester, comes after the CTC had to reduce its staff by eliminating its predoctoral interns after budget cuts that occurred last spring.

“This is merely a way to offer sessions, during the semester, for the larger university community, rather than to those who request trainings/workshops from us,” Crowe said.

There will be 12 Lunch-n-Learn sessions in total beginning on Aug. 31 and ending on Dec. 1. The workshops are open to all students, faculty and staff, but will be capped at 25 attendees per session.

“I am hoping the university community responds favorably to what we are trying to do. If we have a larger demand and interest, we will certainly look to continue such offerings,” Crowe said.

Additionally, the CTC will offer two training sessions for faculty and staff. The Green Dot session will focus on interpersonal violence prevention. The Safe Zone session will focus on LGBTQI persons on campus and in the community and their relationship with faculty and staff.

Elizabeth Madariaga, a sexual assault services coordinator, will be leading the Green Dot session. The program’s aim is to establish a community with an intolerance to violence.

“The goal is for these groups to engage in a basic education program that will equip them to integrate moments of prevention within existing relationships and daily activities,” Crowe said.

Brian Lee, a staff counselor for the CTC, will be leading the Safe Zone session. The overall mission of this project, he said, is to raise awareness of LGBTQIA issues and create an environment that is void of discrimination based on sexual orientation, sexual identity or gender identity.

“The purpose of Safe Zone trainings is to reduce homophobia and heterosexism by training community members to serve as resources for the LGBTQIA community,” Lee said.

Participants will be given the opportunity to display the Safe Zone symbol to celebrate the contributions of LGBTQIA individuals and communities.

“Safe Zone is a voluntary network of individuals who believe that every member of the community should have an equal opportunity to grow and learn in safe and open environments,” Lee said.

Details regarding the Safe Zone and Green Dot sessions have yet to be announced.

However, all Lunch-n-Learn sessions will be located in the Potter Hall conference room 408 and last from 12-1 p.m. Every attendee must bring his or her own lunch.