S.H.A.P.E. members serve Kansas State University students through support from Lafene Health Center.
Members are concerned with:
- Assisting peers in need of information on emotional, physical and social issues regarding Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD's), including HIV/AIDS, so as to reduce fears and diffuse prejudices.
- Disseminating factual information by providing programs and literature on STD's and HIV/AIDS while relating it to sexual health and alcohol/drug issues.
- Providing students with an understanding of health-related services offered by Kansas State University and surrounding communities.
- Motivating students by promoting positive attitudes about health and total wellness.
- Striving to meet diverse student's needs by encouraging discussion surrounding issues of sexuality as it may pertain to diverse student interests, cultural backgrounds, and beliefs.
In the mid 1980's, about the time the AIDS epidemic was becoming a public health issue, the K-State campus developed a Communicable Disease Committee. As a result of the collaborations of this committee and Lafene Health Center, an all-volunteer student group was created. The focus of this peer education group was to teach information about HIV/AIDS to the K-State campus.
By mid 1990's this peer education group had become quite established. Consequently, the Director of Health Promotion at Lafene turned the peer education group into a credit course using the American Red Cross HIV/AIDS Instructor curriculum enabling peer educators to become certified American Red Cross Instructors. The group became known as SHAPE (STD, HIV/AIDS Peer Educators).
The peer education group continued educating the K-State campus about HIV/AIDS. In 2000 they changed the meaning of the group's name SHAPE to better reflect the program's content. Now the attention of SHAPE (Sexual Health Awareness Peer Educators) is more focused on broad sexual health information rather than only HIV/AIDS. However, the foundation upon which SHAPE was founded has not been forgotten. Today, the SHAPE program continues to provide educational programs to help K-State students make responsible choices and educated decisions about their own sexual behaviors by knowing the potential risks.
Being a part of SHAPE was a two-semester commitment. Essentially, in the first semester, members learned about HIV/AIDS, STDs, alcohol and other drugs, contraception, sexual orientation, and cultural sensitivity. The second semester focus was used to present the information to various groups around the K-State campus. In 2012, the course was revised requiring student commitment for one semester and welcomes student presenters throughout their years as K-State students.