Wellness and Health Informed Peers (WHIP)
Every college community has brushes with eating disorders, stress, drug use, STIs, and other health and wellness issues. At Marlboro we address these issues head on, and up close, through the Wellness and Health Informed Peers (WHIP) program, which received the 2009 Vermont Program of the Year award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). WHIP enables student leaders to become more engaged in health and wellness topics on campus and to act as a resource for other students. For example, WHIP participants have restructured student orientation talks about sexual health and drug and alcohol use, resulting in programs that are better received by incoming students.
Students enrolled in the WHIP program meet each week for a semester to discuss health and wellness issues ranging from relationship violence to alcohol abuse. In many cases, a representative from an area institution, such as Planned Parenthood, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, the Brattleboro Retreat, or the AIDS Project of Southern Vermont, are invited to visit campus and conduct a workshop with participants. These interactions strengthen the links between Marlboro and the wider community, and engage students in real world issues through a broader lens.