An Active Citizen on Campus

The Student Affairs Title IX Office is hosting its second Active Bystander Training of the semester on Oct. 16 in Doc Bryan 133 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m

This On Track event is recognized for Active Mind and Body and is designed to teach and inform students about imperative skills that will allow them to be an “active bystander” and safely intervene in uncomfortable situations like sexual harassment.

An “active bystander” is someone who witnesses an uncomfortable situation, but instead of sitting idly by, they intervene and stop the situation from escalating further or disrupting the situation completely. Being an active bystander can play a pivotal role in preventing crimes such as sexual harassment or assault.

Arkansas Tech University has been very progressive in attempting to create a safer atmosphere on campus, and this event helps put the power and ability into the student’s hands to help those around them.

Some students think the event will help prepare students to act quickly and confident when faced with a certain situation.

“Students are too afraid to react quickly because they are uncomfortable themselves and don’t know what to do to help the person in need. They are also afraid to stand out, when the crowd will tend to stand back and let it happen,” Morgan Ware, a general chemistry major from Parkers Chapel, said.

The training involves learning life skills such as what things to say in a situation, how to get the attention of people around and what to do to help a potential victim. The training is designed to compel and urge students who in the past might have left the situation untouched or ignored and instead use their newfound skills.

“Knowing skills will allow someone to feel more confident about intervening. Too often students stand by because they are unsure of how to approach the situation,” Ware said.

This event is one of many where students have the chance to become active, change campus culture and raise awareness when it comes to situations that involve sexual assault, harassment, bullying, discrimination, etc.

This is the second Active Bystander Training event that the Student Affairs Title IX Office has held this semester. It will also be hosting a third event on Oct. 28. If planning on attending this event, students can RSVP online at The Link at www.thelink.atu.edu

DeShawn Gove

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