Bulldog of the Month: Lizzie Easter

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 Lizze Easter giving a bystander intervention presentation during consent week. Photo courtesy of Clint Austin

Lizze Easter giving a bystander intervention presentation during consent week. Photo courtesy of Clint Austin

Lizzie Easter is a senior psychology major and early childhood studies minor. Easter is a part of SHE, or Sexual Health Educators, through UMD Health Services Peer Health Educators program. SHE is a student organization that works to educate the UMD community about sexual and personal health.

“My involvement with SHE includes weekly meetings, as well as giving presentations,” Easter said. “Sometimes we use our meeting time to discuss things in the group such as upcoming presentation requests or format of our presentations, but sometimes we have speakers come in and educate us on different topics. [These include] information about physiology of sex, interrupting microaggressions, birth control or STIs.”

The most taught topics in presentations are bystander intervention and sexual health.

According to the UMD Health Services website, “the goals of the bystander intervention initiative are to increase awareness and knowledge that supports noticing events and interpreting events as a problem, to deliver tools and strategies that inform safe and effective intervention and to build confidence and motivation that inspires taking personal responsibility to act.”

SHE gives presentations to classes and organizations on campus. Easter explained that the group gives presentations to UMD seminar classes, as well as a few student groups including greek life and athletics. Some of the workshops that SHE holds are open to the Duluth community.

SHE presentations usually consist of a game of jeopardy or a powerpoint lecture on the topics being discussed.

On top of being a SHE member, Easter is also a leader for the UMD sailing club and volunteers with Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault (PAVSA).

 Easter is a senior psychology major and early childhood studies minor. Photo courtesy of Lizzie Easter.

Easter is a senior psychology major and early childhood studies minor. Photo courtesy of Lizzie Easter.

“I really care about teaching people to be kind and inclusive, which is why I love SHE,” Easter said. “I also believe in advocating for people who need it, specifically victims of assault. I believe that talking about problems and educating is far more effective in prevention than any responsive programing.”

Easter shared what she wished young people knew about sexual health and how to live a healthy personal lifestyle.

“One thing that I wish young people knew about healthy sex is that it is okay to not know all of the answers and want to try new things,” Easter said. “We get many, many questions during our presentations that people feel awkward asking and we always validate that we are there to educate.”

“Our society does not do a great job teaching people about how to have healthy sex lives and I strive to make sure that everyone in the classes that I present to leave knowing something new,” Easter said. “I always try to encourage students to lean into any awkwardness or judgement that they feel and try to use it to learn.”

If you are interested in getting involved or learning more about SHE contact director Dori Decker at ddecker@d.umn.edu.

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