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Bystander Intervention Education begins

September 10, 2012

Bystander EducationSpeak Up. Get Help. JUST ACT.

These six words will saturate the campus community during this academic year.

NIU’s Division of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management is embarking on a campus-wide bystander intervention education initiative designed to empower students to report problematic behaviors and situations.

Through educational workshops focusing on awareness, motivation and skill-building and a campus-wide social marketing campaign, the bystander intervention education initiative is designed to promote positive norms, behaviors, values and customs.

Ultimately, the initiative aims to give students information and tools they need to recognize if a situation may be getting out of hand and to intervene if possible.

Being an active and informed bystander can prevent harm and other negative outcomes such as incidents of bias, violence, bullying, hazing, high-risk drinking or other community problems.

The bystander education messages compliment the principles of the Northern PACT that include creating a just, caring, open, disciplined and celebrative community.

“We hope this initiative will ignite students to be proactive, conscious, decision makers,” said Kelly Wesener Michael, acting vice president for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management.

“This year, we are focusing on a disciplined community – where group members accept their responsibility and expectations guide behavior for the common good. Our commitment to creating a community focused on the good of all its members aligns perfectly with the goals of the bystander education initiative.”

Faculty and staff are encouraged to support bystander intervention education by: inviting a trained facilitator to speak to their class; offering projects, research, reflection assignments or extra credit to attend a workshop; or volunteering to be a staff facilitator.

For more information, visit the Health Enhancement website, email [email protected] or call (815) 753-9755.