What is Peer Health Advocates?

Peer Health Advocates (PHA) is a peer-to-peer volunteer organization committed to enhancing the health of the OSU community through outreach events.

PHA volunteers conduct campus activities designed to raise awareness about college health issues and promote healthy behavior choices among our peers. Past events and projects have included awareness of safer sex behaviors, HIV/AIDS, impact of stress, alcohol and substance abuse, and other health related issues. Volunteers also collaborate with other campus groups on events, attend weekly volunteer meetings, and engage in skill/team building activities.

Students involved with PHA are rewarded with opportunities to grow in their leadership potential, and are involved with meaningful opportunities to make a difference within the OSU community.

Peer Health Advocates is open and available to all OSU students, and is dedicated to promoting an open exchange of information, ideas, opinions and inclusiveness of all students, including: race/ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, and religion.

What are the volunteer expectations?

Expectations for all volunteers are the following:

  • Register for or audit H349 prior to or during your first term with PHA. This course is mandatory for first-time volunteers;
  • Attend and actively participate in at least 80 percent of volunteer meetings (meetings are normally Wednesdays from 5:00-6:00 p.m. at Student Health Services, Rm 322B);
  • Complete a minimum of 8 volunteer hours each term (includes committee meetings);
  • Complete an assessment of your volunteer experience and meet with a PHA Student Coordinator for their feedback on your performance at the end of each term.

How can you become a volunteer?

Becoming a volunteer is a two-step process. The first step is to complete an application online during the open application period (see below) to indicate your interst. Note: Applications submitted outside of the open application period will not be processed. After review of your application and successfully passing a reference check, you will receive an email regarding your status. Once approved, the next step is to enroll in or audit the training course (H349: Peer Helper Skills) during or prior to your first term with PHA.

NOTE: All new volunteers must enroll in H349 or audit the course and complete it in good standing. The course is listed under Public Health in the course catalog and is currently offered winter and spring term. 

Online applications will be processed ONLY during the following times: Weeks 1-7 of Winter Term and Weeks 4-6 of Spring Term

The next opportunity to join PHA will be to apply during Spring 2015 for Fall Term 2015.

What is in it for you?

If you become a peer health educator or volunteer you will be rewarded with...

  • Making a difference in the health of OSU students
  • Improved leadership, interpersonal, and communication skills
  • Resume enhancement
  • Recognition for volunteerism and advocacy
  • Increased knowledge about health and social justice
  • Find a variety of meaningful volunteer opportunities in student health activities, projects, and programs
  • Gain hands-on knowledge and experience
  • Develop great new relationships while working to educate and empower your fellow students


Contact the PHA Office (SHS Room 333) at 541-737-3927, the PHA Coordinator at 541-737-7555, or email Peer.Advocates[at]oregonstate[dot]edu.