CONWAY, Ark. (October
8, 2019) — The Arkansas Student Affairs Association (ArSAA) on Sept. 25 recognized two
connected Hendrix College programs, Student Outreach Services (SOS) and Student
Outreach Alternative Resources (SOAR), with its inaugural Outstanding
Innovative Program Award.
created honor, one of four awards given annually by ArSAA, recognizes an
institution that has developed and implemented a program resulting in improved
educational activities, services, or management for an individual campus
Services, or SOS, is a unique and progressive program designed to support
students as they transition from high school and home life to college and
future life through a structured, collaborative, and confidential process. The
SOS representative carries out a holistic and total wellness conversation with
a student before connecting them with needed programs, services, and
individuals for personal, social, and community life options.
Christy Coker, a licensed life strategies coach and former instructor, works
individually with each student to establish personal, social, and
multi-community goals through individual planning. Students find that the
entire process provides supported introspection to enhance their evolution to
the role of young adult. Self-contracting to achieve those goals keeps the
responsibility for personal growth with the student, empowering the student to
take control of their future in positive, proactive ways.
SOS sponsors a
practical, hands-on and dedicated group of students on campus via Student
Outreach Alternative Resources, or SOAR. The SOAR Team is composed of upperclassmen
who are campus leaders wanting to make a difference in the lives of incoming
students by serving as peer mentors—not in the academic sense, but in the
social world of the Hendrix community.
Each SOAR team
member has completed training and/or certification in:
101, which defines a mentor as an individual who is a knowledgeable and
experienced guide, a trusted ally and advocate, and a caring role model. An effective
mentor is respectful, reliable, patient, trustworthy, and a very good listener
Health First Aid, a process of how to help someone who is developing a mental
health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The training helps these
peer mentors to identify, understand, and respond to signs of addiction and
Violence, aka #ThatsNotLove Campaign, a short and shareable series of digital
content in five unique chapters that shine a spotlight on unhealthy or
emotionally abusive relationship behaviors—or the gray area between love and
control. The training teaches peer mentors how to safely intervene and educate
peers when factors indicate “That’s Not Love!”
training in how to notice and respond to situations where suicidal thoughts
might be present; recognize that invitations for help are often overlooked;
move beyond the common tendency to miss, dismiss, and avoid suicide; apply the
TALK steps: Tell, Ask, Listen, and KeepSafe; and have a comprehensive knowledge
of community resources and how to connect someone having thoughts of suicide to
those resources for further help.
how to identify acceptable versus unacceptable actions and behaviors under Title
IX, which protects people in education programs or activities from
discrimination based on sex, and to make sure students and those affecting life
in the campus community follow campus policy and procedures.
Terminology & Awareness, providing opportunities to learn about LGBTQ+
identities, gender and sexuality, and examine prejudice, assumptions, and
privilege. SOAR mentors are not only diverse and inclusive as a team, but they
appreciate and respect diversity across a multitude of life demographics.
Intelligence, a session assisting the SOAR Team members in enhancing their
capacity of individuals to recognize their own, and other people's emotions,
and to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately,
and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.
Safety is a program on campus sponsored by the Office of Public Safety, which
provides a safe environment for the college community and visitors. SOAR is a
collaborative supporter of this program to ensure the entire community works
together to keep everyone safe.
SOAR organizes one-on-one
personal and social peer mentoring program on campus, second Saturday suppers,
off-campus social events, alternative (to the big campus parties) events, and
other collaborative events as needed on campus. They are a primary source of
referring students for services, programs, events, and to professionals.
staff, siblings, friends, acquaintances, and others may make student referrals
for SOAR through the SOS office at SOS@hendrix.edu or 501-450-1330. Students often refer
The mission of
SOS and SOAR is to engage all segments of the Hendrix College student
population by connecting with peer mentors, services, resources, programs,
networks, interventions, and/or prevention to increase successful holistic and
positive student experiences throughout their time in the Hendrix community.
The SOS and SOAR
motto: “We will either find a way, or make one.” — Hannibal of Carthage
By creating new
avenues via one-on-one confidential conversations, unique and different
interpersonal relationships, participating in alternative activities for those
who want to start out more slowly in social acclimation than the campus-wide
party, and moving around in smaller group activities to help achieve
self-confidence in a big, new world, the SOAR peer mentors provide a safe, fun
experience for new students. This helps first-year students build a stronger,
more fluid transition into college life, making SOAR a refreshing haven of good
friendships and lasting memories.
About Hendrix College
A private liberal
arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns
recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is
featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change
the Way You Think About Colleges.
Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix
as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876,
Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To
learn more, visit www.hendrix.edu.