Author: Liza Thomas
The Health Promotion Officer role has been established for organizations that are unable to have an adviser at every in-person event. Students can be trained for this role through the Student Involvement & Leadership (SIL) office.
The training was born out of concerns from organizations that were not able to have advisers at every gathering. This direct response to student feedback serves as a solution to the issue by having a Health Promotion Officer serve as a temporary replacement for an adviser at these gatherings.
“Health Promotion Officers was developed in response to the UAB guidelines that indicated student organizations had to have a university representative present to host any organizational event or activity,” said Lauren Cotant, associate director of Student Involvement & Leadership. “The office of SIL and the Division of Student Affairs recognized the challenges created for student organizations in having a faculty or staff member present, and we decided to educate our students so that they could serve in that role.”
The job of Health Promotion Officers is to ensure event attendees are following the current health and safety guidelines.
“We need to ensure that, at any organization-hosted activity, we are modeling healthy behavior as leaders on our campus,” said Cotant. “We also want to ensure that, when we are inviting participants and even guests to come to events, we are being mindful of the precautions that should be taken to host a safe and healthy event.”
This also allows student organizations more autonomy and flexibility to host on-campus events, according to Cotant.
“We do not want, as a university, to say to student organizations, ‘you can’t have events.’ We just want to figure out how you all can do them safely,” said Cotant. “Health Promotion Officers provide student organizations flexibility while hosting safe events where participants can come and be confident that university guidelines will be followed.”
Training for Health Promotion Officers takes place over Zoom and in-person. It focuses on informing organization members about the new guidelines for in-person events in the age of COVID-19. More training is expected to be held monthly, throughout the academic semester, in accordance with student feedback.
There are two more trainings available before winter break. The next training is Nov. 1 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Ballroom D of the Hill Student Center. The final training is Nov. 9 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Zoom