Doing the right thing: Intervention

Dani Palmer

Imagine yourself at a party or get-together, and you see a friend of yours on the other side of the room.

This friend has been drinking a lot, and it looks like they are about to make a pretty big mistake, like get into a bad fight or go off with someone they don’t know.

Do you just shrug and assume they will be fine, or do you step in and do something?

The Step Up Bystander Intervention Program teaches students to not to just let it happen.

The program, sponsored by the Recreation, Fitness and Wellness Center and HEAR, encourages students to look out for friends and keep them from getting into bad situations.

HEAR President Crystal Steltenpohl said she hopes the program helps students nip a problem in the bud before it gets out of hand.

“The training program helps people intervene before things get out of hand. Sometimes it gets so crazy, you feel like you can’t control anything,” Steltenpohl said.

“We hope to teach methods of intervention through verbal assistance.”

The program not only teaches about how to stop a friend from having “Oh my god, did I really do that?” moments; it also teaches how to intervene before something really serious happens.

The program focuses particularly on sexual assault.

“How many people have been raped at a party, or done something that they regretted while their friends are in the next room?” Steltenpohl asked.

“We have a lot of power, and with great power come great responsibility. You have a responsibility to your friends to help them make good decisions.”

The program teaches students the right things to do and say to react to bad situations and how to resolve the problem quickly and peacefully.

Bad things can happen when one combines alcohol with lots of people, but Steltenpohl and assistant program director of student wellness for the Recreation and Fitness Center Christine Tolis, who is coordinating the event, hope that with a little bit of help, students will know what to do to avert any possible tragedies on what was supposed to be a fun night out.

“You don’t have to tell your friends what to do, but maybe if we looked out for each other more, we would make less decisions we regret and the world would be a better place,” Steltenpohl said.