What you need to know before applying to be a Peer Leader
What's new this year with the Peer Leader selection process?
The application is now due by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, January 12 — about two weeks earlier than previous deadlines.
Additionally, we now require interested applicants to attend an information session prior to this deadline, and we encourage you to attend a session before completing the application. Information sessions will be offered between November 25 and January 10; visit go.osu.edu/PLinfo for dates, times and locations.
If you are selected for the Peer Leader role, you will be required to enroll in a one credit academic course offered during the second session of spring semester. This requirement will be covered in greater detail during information sessions.
Why are information sessions required? What if I can't attend one?
Information sessions are intended to equip you with a thorough understanding of the Peer Leader position. The Peer Leader position is a unique role that requires significant investments of time, energy and dedication, and we want to be sure that you understand what it will take to be successful in this role. Information sessions also provide you the opportunity to ask questions about the process.
If you’re unable to attend one of our information sessions, contact Eric Jaburek by January 9 to make alternative arrangements.
Who can be a reference on my Peer Leader application?
The recommendation helps us to know you better and also demonstrates your initiative in making a connection with a university faculty or staff member. For this reason, your recommender should not be an undergraduate student. Examples of an appropriate reference could include an academic advisor, professor, mentor, student organization advisor or current supervisor. Whoever you choose should know you well enough to be able to speak to your ability to be successful as a Peer Leader. When you submit your application, you will be asked to submit the name, position title and email address of your recommender, so make sure you know that information when applying. First Year Experience staff will not serve as a reference for the position. Recommenders will have until January 16 to complete the recommendation form.
What if I cannot fit the spring class into my schedule? Can I still be a Peer Leader?
Exceptions to this course requirement will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Our goal is for every Peer Leader to enroll in the class simultaneously and to grow together as they prepare for the role. The class will be held on Thursdays from 5:30 to 7 p.m. during the second session of spring semester.
How can I best prepare for the application process?
How can I successfully manage the Peer Leader role with my other commitments?
First-year students are the first priority — after academics, of course! Because we want you to have the flexibility and availability to connect with new students at various times each week throughout an entire semester, we ask that your other commitments — like a second job or participation in student organizations — stay within 10-15 hours per week. Research shows that students who take on more than 20 hours per week of additional commitments outside of their classroom responsibilities are less likely to succeed; however, you will likely discover that many campus activities support the mission of the Peer Leader role. If selected as a Peer Leader, you will work with a supervisor to manage and monitor your other commitments.
I am planning to take classes, co-op or study abroad in May or summer. Is that allowed?
You are not eligible for the Peer Leader position if you wish to participate in a study abroad experience or co-op or internship that would take you away from the May Peer Leader training or any semester (including summer). Though FYE values the education and perspective that come with such experiences, we want to be sure that first-year students are able to learn from and connect with Peer Leaders who are available to shape first-year students’ success over an entire year.
Can I be exempt from the summer living requirement?
The Peer Leader position requires a significant time commitment during training and throughout the summer, especially during orientation, that requires you to be alert and engaged from early in the morning until late in the evening. An on-campus living space will provided to you at no charge, and you will be required to live in the residence halls during the summer. Throughout the summer, you will have weekends off, and you are not required to stay in the residence halls on weekends. Exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis.
Are there any inflexible time commitments that I should plan for this summer or when scheduling autumn semester courses?
Full participation in all Peer Leader training and employment requirements is expected. You must be free of day or evening commitments Monday through Friday during May, June and July. May training (May 6-24) will occur M-F from roughly 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The first week of training will be off-site at camp. You must live in residence during May training, but you will have weekends off and are not required to sleep in the residence halls on weekends.
For the academic year, you should hold time to attend a Peer Leader staff meeting each Friday from 3-4:30 p.m. or each Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. However, you will not be excluded from being hired if a required academic course conflicts with these meetings.
What happens if I need to request time off during the summer?
If you need to request time off, you'll have the opportunity through a survey administered after you are hired. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Very few time-off requests can be approved given the nature of our staffing needs. An example of an approved time-off request would be a student taking the LSAT or a long weekend for a family commitment. If you become ill or face a personal emergency, you should notify an FYE supervisor as soon as possible. When the university is on an academic break (fall, winter and spring breaks), you may work additional hours during those breaks but are not required to do so. All time off is unpaid.
Can I be a Peer Leader and a Resident Advisor at the same time?
No. While you may apply for both positions, the time commitment for each role precludes a student from serving in both capacitites simultaneously.
What if my question isn't answered here?
If you can't find an answer to your question on this site or at an information session, email us at email@example.com. Please allow up to 72 hours for a response.