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My experience as a Senior Peer Leader (SPL).

January 16, 2023

Thanks for selecting this article. If you’re here, that probably means you are interested in the Peer Leader Program. The Peer Leader Program is a peer-mentoring initiative that supports student success and engagement by cultivating peer relationships that contribute to a strong sense of community. It is one of the best ways to get involved on campus and foster life-long connections. 

Why did I decide to become a Senior Peer Leader?

When I came to Ontario Tech as a first-year student, I saw an immense sense of community the Peer Leader Program brought together. I saw these enthusiastic students dancing up and down, cheering us on and serving as prominent leaders throughout the year. I greatly valued their ambition and enthusiasm, and through several interactions with them, I realized I wanted to be a part of the Peer Leader Program. 

The Peer Leader Program and the sense of community at Ontario Tech operate in a cycle. Upper years inspire and leave behind a positive imprint that lower years carry forward in continuing the traditions and enhancing the connectedness of our cute little school. I am happy to have been a part of this movement, and I hope I am doing justice in leaving behind a legacy that will continue for years. 

How was Orientation?

Orientation was a lot of fun! After two years of online delivery, I was thrilled to be back on campus to welcome our incoming students and connect with the team who facilitated Orientation events. 

My team and I knew we had to make a positive impression by facilitating the events, so we worked hard during the summer months to plan it all out. We prepared presentations, gathered supplies and organized events with our wonderful peer leaders. I loved the Egg Drop event. The Egg Drop is an Ontario Tech legend I experienced during my first year, so it was very special for me to assist in bringing back this tradition. The incoming students were excited to build tool kits to save their egg as it was being dropped from increasing heights in UA. 

What makes a good SPL?

I think a good SPL is understanding, a forward thinker and deeply passionate about Ontario Tech University and enhancing the student experience. I say this because you will be overseeing multiple students. As busy as university life gets, you need to be open-minded in understanding that some individuals will require more time and consideration than others to complete commitments, which is okay. You should be able to create an environment where individuals are comfortable approaching you because they know they can share anything and everything with you that they wish to. You should be a forward thinker who understands that things may go wrong and likely will go wrong, so don’t get too bogged down in achieving perfection. Embrace change, learn to work with what you got in resolving dilemmas, and ask yourself, “What is the next right move?” Also, understand that you are not alone. A whole team is working with you, and you can get together to solve any concerns that arise. Finally, you need to work from a place of love. I greatly appreciate and value Ontario Tech University and wish to do everything I can to give back my debt of gratitude.

How has being involved contributed to my student experience?
I do better in school because I am more involved with the Peer Leader Program. I feel a sense of belonging because of the tight-knit community and a sense of responsibility to do my best in every duty I am assigned. All in all, I am a better student because I am a Senior Peer Leader.