This past Sunday, October 12th, the Wesleyan Student Assembly took part in Bystander Intervention training with Tonya Purdy and Alysha Warren. We addressed our own barriers to intervention, discussed potential strategies for intervening, and thought about the kind of community we want to build. Bystander intervention goes beyond helping a drunk friend or intervening in a potential assault, and it goes beyond addressing an abusive relationship or a substance abuse issue. In my eyes, it was about character. It was about community. It was about who you are going to be when nobody is watching, and it is about the kind of language and behavior that you as an individual and we as a community will or will not tolerate. And finally, it was about coming into a situation with good intentions, with a goal not of changing people or making them conform to your idea of what is right, but engaging in open and respectful conversation to create a safer and more inclusive community.
I hope that more and more groups and individuals take the opportunity to experience this training. The training goes quickly, it’s very informative, and it gives you space for self-reflection, as well as a chance to think about who we are and where we are going as a community. Contact email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on We Speak We Stand Bystander Intervention.