Bystander training educates students on violent scenarios

UCO Health Promotion will host a bystander intervention training from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday in Thatcher Hall, Room 343.

The training, which is open to students, faculty and staff, helps those who observe bullying, stalking or sexual assault to know how to respond.            

            “We talk to them about what it means to be a bystander and some of the norms surrounding that, like social norms and increase the awareness of violence prevention on our campus,” said Alexis Washington,  coordinator for Project SPEAK, an interpersonal violence prevention project on campus.

            The monthly event, which is also held virtually, will go over topics of self-care and provide participants with violent scenarios and how they can intervene. The event will also include discussions among participants to share their life stories and what they would’ve done in those scenarios.

“The training is meant to be conversational; it’s not meant to be us just talking to students,” said Carlie Deatherage, who is the assistant director of Health Promotion and Outreach.

Although registration is not required for in-person participants, virtual participants need to register in order to receive the Zoom link.

According to Deatherage, the trainings will return to being conducted by student peer health leaders, who are students that organize and conduct campus-wide health programs. Last year, due to the pandemic, she and her staff conducted the training.

“When COVID was at its peak last year, it was all virtual. There were no issues with us carrying out the bystander training. The only issue would have been getting participants involved. It’s really hard to give an hour and a half presentation in person to keep students engaged, so it was even harder keeping students engaged via Zoom,” Washington said.

Because of the pandemic, in order to keep participants safe, they are required to social distance, Washington said, and masks, wipes and hand sanitizer are provided. After the presentation, the room is also wiped down.

Students and staff can find more information regarding the event posted on flyers throughout campus and can also contact

All student participants will be awarded STLR points. 

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