The power of our moments…

You have an incalculable influence on your students in your daily life as a mentor, role model and teacher. Therefore, though you are less likely to be in a position to cue to high risk behavior for imminent violence – you can model positive bystanding in your role as a faculty member. Help create a culture that does not tolerate violence and a culture that expects everyone to do their part – through your words and actions in the office and in the classroom.

Here are some ideas… click to expand

Educate Yourself

To intervene, one must watch for potential warning signs of violence with an informed, observant eye. Here are some behaviors you might be in a position to notice in the classroom or office:

  • Increased withdrawal, avoidance, or nervousness observed in a student, colleague, or loved one
  • Statements ridiculing, demeaning, or belittling others
  • Aggressive, intimidating, or threatening physical contact or body language
  • Bruises or efforts to hide bruises (e.g., wearing a turtleneck in warm weather)
  • Change in academic performance
  • Stories about “sexual escapades” that don’t sound entirely consensual
  • Conversations that reinforce societal norms that power-based personal violence is “none of my business”

Put information about the Counseling Center or local resource in your office.

  • Put a violence prevention poster up in your office. When asked about it share your commitment to preventing violence.

Sign it

Include a violence prevention statement in your email signature line.

     Here are some examples:

  • I am committed to a community free of violence
  • No one has to do everything. Everyone has to do something…What will you do for campus safety.
  • Violence prevention: a single choice in one moment that makes this community safer.
  • My legacy…a community free of violence.
  • What kind of campus do you want? Be part of the solution and help end violence

Make a Policy. Add a statement to your syllabus or student worker training materials defining the classroom or office as a safe space that will not tolerate violence of any kind. Consider working with your class to draft a non-violent statement that you will put on your syllabus.

  • Because this class needs to be a participatory community if students are to fulfill their potential for learning, people who disrupt the community by their words or actions harm that community. Rude, sarcastic, obscene, or disrespectful speech and disruptive behavior have a negative impact on everyone’s learning. When a person disrupts the class in these ways, the course instructor will remove the disruptive person from the class.

Learn More As a Group

Invite a violence prevention expert to facilitate a 20- 90 minute violence prevention session during your student leader training or class period.

Discuss interpersonal violence and your belief that it can be prevented with your class, student workers, colleagues, or loved ones.

  • Check in on a student whom you are worried about. Maybe you have noticed a change in their behavior or classroom performance and you are concerned they may have been impacted by this violence.
  • Talk to your students and colleagues about violence prevention.
  • Tell you your students about a time you weren’t a positive bystander and you wish you would’ve been.
  • Tell your students why this issue matters and why you would be proud of them if they chose to do their part to make this campus safer.
  • Tell your students that you think it would be good use of their time to attend a violence prevention training – offer them extra credit to do so.

Anytime one of us stands up to say, “violence is not okay” — that is a moment of safety. Anytime one of us makes it clear by our words or actions “this is everyone’s issue” – that is a moment culture change. Show your students what a positive bystander looks like.

Ways to be a positive bystander

People have different barriers when it comes to intervention. Some people are busy and feel overworked, others are shy, and others don’t want to seem unprofessional in the workplace. But in the same way that there are different kinds of barriers, there are also different approaches to intervention that can get around these barriers. It helps to think ahead about the interventions that one might do in potentially concerning situations.

Think about these choices – better known as the 3 D’s:

  • Direct: do it yourself
  • Delegate: bring others in
  • Distract: diffuse the situation without directly addressing it

What to do if.....

Increased withdrawal, avoidance, or nervousness observed in a student, colleague, or loved one.

  • Direct. Check in with the person. Ask the person if things are all right. Describe what you’ve noticed, express your concern and communicate your desire to help.
  • Delegate. Contact the Health or Counseling Center and quickly consult with one of the counselors about your concern, brainstorming together appropriate interventions.

Statements ridiculing, demeaning, or belittling others:

  • Direct. Express your concern with the disparaging comment your heard.
  • Delegate. Talk to your colleagues about the most effective way to manage classroom dynamics.
  • Distract. Change the subject; introduce a new topic so the conversation turns away from the disparaging comments.

Stories about “sexual escapades” that don’t sound entirely consensual.

  • Delegate. Invite a violence prevention expert to inform a student or colleague about power-based personal violence.
  • Distract. Cause a scene; drop your folder with your notes in it to direct attention to you, breaking up the conversation.
  • Distract. Give a pop quiz.

Conversations that reinforce societal norms that this violence is “none of my business”.

  • Direct. Engage in a discussion about the role of the bystander in intervening to prevent harm. Together, brainstorm realistic interventions.
  • Delegate. Invite a violence prevention expert to inform a student or colleague about power-based personal violence and each community member’s role in preventing it.

Communicating your commitment to preventing violence also communicates that you are a safe person to ask for help. Know your resources so that when someone discloses that he or she is a survivor of violence you know where to get more help.