Note: For the Spring 2022 semester, the Empathy Chair Workshop Series has been rescheduled to two 2-hour sessions on Wednesday March 23rd and March 30th from 7-9PM EST.
Empathy Chairs will be a visible and trusted member within a student group (e.g., club, organization, athletic team) on campus who will promote the core EARS skills and values of empathy, listening, support, and well-being.
Empathy Chairs will be trained by EARS to voluntarily serve as a "point person" of support, helping students find a sense of belonging within their respective group(s), and actively making well-being resources well-known to students. We envision Empathy Chairs being a liked and respected figure within organizations, with their position and role being widely publicized and well-known within the community.
If you are interested in becoming an Empathy Chair for your organization, you have the option of completing Beginning training or completing the Empathy Chair Workshop Series.
Empathy Chairs FAQs (click here for more FAQs)
How do I become an Empathy Chair?
Empathy Chairs are designated members of an organization who have undergone either 1) EARS Beginning Training and an orientation hosted by EARS OR 2) the Empathy Chair Workshops. While all organizations and groups are warmly welcomed and encouraged to incorporate "Empathy Chairs", it is important to note that this is a completely voluntary leadership role.
Do I need to join EARS to become an Empathy Chair?
Empathy Chairs are students who choose to complete Beginning EARS training to serve in this leadership role. While Empathy Chairs will be required to successfully complete one semester of EARS training or the Empathy Chair Workshops, they are not required to become EARS staff members to serve in this role. With that said, if an Empathy Chair decides they would like to complete the requirements to become a full EARS staff member (successfully complete Beginning and Advanced Training and the staff evaluation), they will be warmly welcomed to do so.
Is the Empathy Chair training a replacement for Beginning training? Can I enroll in Advanced training after completing the Empathy Chair training?
No. Beginning training takes a more in-depth approach to the EARS skills that will better serve you for continuing onto Advanced training. If you are considering Advanced training and/or joining EARS staff, we highly recommend enrolling in Beginning training instead of the Empathy Chair Workshops, so you have the option of Advanced training available to you. Additionally, there is more time for community building in Beginning training! However, the Empathy Chair Workshops is ideal for those who want to learn core empathetic listening & mental health support skills in a shorter time frame with the intention of serving as an Empathy Chair.
"EARS is an organization built for fostering connection. Even if the way we approach that has to change, we’re seeing this as an opportunity to grow and adapt to the needs of the community by integrating ourselves directly into the very structure of student organizations and life."
- Angella Lee '23