A Place to Talk opens a new location in Brody

By JASON NGUYEN | September 6, 2018

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EDA INCEKARA/PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR 

Students attended the opening of a more centralized APTT room in Brody.

A Place to Talk (APTT), an on-campus peer listening service, unveiled their newest campus location on Tuesday. Their new room will be in Brody 4010. By opening a new location in Brody, APTT hopes to increase their access to the student body. 

APTT is a private, confidential peer-listening service that offers a space for undergraduates to talk to peers. Members have gone through training in order to become effective listeners. APTT will share information only in cases when there is an immediate safety concern.

Students are encouraged to speak about anything from serious grievances to small annoyances. The new Brody location will replace the previous room in AMR I. APTT also has a location in the Wolman lobby. 

Andrew Hellinger, co-director of APTT, expressed his gratitude toward the library administration for allowing APTT to use a room in Brody.

Hellinger said that APTT chose to relocate because Brody is an area where many students experience stress. He believes that the community could benefit from having a peer listening service in this environment. 

EDA INCEKARA/PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR 

Students attended the opening of a more centralized APTT room in Brody.

Anna Koerner, co-director of APTT, explained that the group campaigned for the past year to replace their old room in AMR I with the new room in Brody but only recently received permission from the University administration to do so.

“We finally got the push in administration last semester to make [our new location] a reality. We’re really excited about this,” Koerner said. 

Koerner added that the new location may be more frequented than the one in the dorms.

“At Hopkins, so many students are in Brody and library rather than the dorms,” she said.

Senior Yuri Chia liked the idea of having a room in Brody, particularly because Hopkins tends to have a rigorous academic environment. 

“I thought it was a really good idea because Hopkins is a really intense place to be in, and APTT gives you a place to share your thoughts and solve crises,” Chia said. 

Jaylyn Gillis, Co-PR chairman of APTT, shares Chia’s belief that Hopkins can be overwhelming for students at times and hopes the new location in Brody will make people feel more comfortable. 

She emphasized the centrality of the Brody location in comparison with APTT’s previous location, which could often feel out of the way. 

“Now being in Brody, in the midst of everything, in the midst of all the stress and all the turmoil that some people may feel, now we’re just a few steps away,” Gillis said. “So we hope that people will feel more comfortable.”

According to Gillis, there were 450 visits made to the APTT rooms in the 2017-2018 academic year. The APTT website reports these visits were from a variety of students. 

Because of these growing number of visits, every year A Place to Talk searches for and accepts new peer-leaders from the undergraduate community.

Koerner emphasized the extensive training process APTT members undergo in order to become members. This includes learning active listening skills and effective crisis intervention through the Hopkins Counseling Center. 

“We’re trained four hours every week throughout the semester for a total of 40-50 hours. We’re equipped to handle a whole spectrum of issues,” Koerner said. 

APTT peer-listeners are trained to listen to students and respond in a way that doesn’t directly give advice. During meetings, APTT aims to help students explore their concerns respectfully and come up with solutions.

Hellinger also stated that APTT peer listeners have the ability to adapt to any situation students come in with, as each week trainees undergo role-playing scenarios. 

Junior Gabby Jones said that she hoped more students knew about APTT.

“This is a service that’s really cool to have at Hopkins. Everyone should be aware that it exists,” she said.  

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