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Upstanding: Stepping Up to Prevent Violence in Utah

“Upstanding” is a bystander intervention approach for the prevention of a variety of problematic situations. The purpose of the Upstanding training is to prepare members of the USU campus community with the skills and knowledge needed to safely and effectively intervene when they sense a threat or potential harm to another. Threats could include sexual misconduct, drug and alcohol misuse, bias and discrimination, depression or suicidal thoughts, and interpersonal violence.

The Upstanding program turns bystanders into Upstanders.

Upstander: A person who stands up to prevent harm to another.

A team of students and faculty and staff members from various departments are trained to provide this prevention program to any campus department, organization or class.

Upstanding Program Basics

The “bystander effect” says that people are less likely to offer help to a victim when other people are present. This means that the greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that any one of them will help. But once one person intervenes, others will join them. The Upstanding program teachers bystanders how to become upstanders.

A person can practice bystander intervention before, during or even after an incident occurs, and many options for addressing the situation are available depending on the upstander’s comfort level and safety. The first priority of an upstander when addressing problematic situations is their personal safety.

An upstander can address a problematic situation in four ways, which are called the 4 D's: direct, delegate, distract, and delay. 

  • Direct: Address the situation in the moment, such as by saying something to the person who is engaging in the problematic behavior.
  • Delegate: Ask other people to help, such as by recruiting friends to help remove someone from a situation.
  • Distract: Interrupt the situation by causing a distraction, such as by changing the subject of the conversation.
  • Delay: Address the situation after it has happened, such as by waiting to talk to someone about something problematic that they said until they are alone.

Training Options

Upstanding is an interactive, audience-led program that incorporates large and small group discussions, videos, and practice scenarios. All versions of the Upstanding program will empower participants to become upstanders by teaching them about bystander intervention practices and campus and community support resources. The topics covered in the practice scenarios can be adapted for the needs of the group.

  • 2-hour Training: This version of the program allows time to practice 4-5 scenarios for safe and effective intervention.
  • 1.5-hour Training: This version of the program allows time to practice 3-4 scenarios for safe and effective intervention.
  • 1-hour Training: This version of the program allows time to practice 2-3 scenarios for safe and effective intervention.
  • Academic Class or Department Meeting (40 to 50-minute Introduction): This version of the program allows time to practice 1-2 scenarios for safe and effective intervention.

Become an Upstanding Program Facilitator

The Upstanding bystander intervention program is looking for more student, faculty, and staff facilitators for the 2019-2020 year!

Facilitators are required to commit to facilitating for at least one semester and to present 1-3 times per semester, pending the number of Upstanding presentations that are requested each term. Presentations will be facilitated in pairs and facilitators will choose their presentation schedule.

The spring 2020 train-the-trainer session will take place on Friday, January 24, 2020 from 12:00-4:30 pm in the TSC Center Colony Room. If you are interested in being trained as a program facilitator, you can RSVP by filling out the Qualtrics application by Friday, January 17, 2020.

Questions about becoming an Upstanding program facilitator can be directed to upstander@usu.edu.

Upstanders Exemplify Aggies Think, Care, Act

Once these skills are learned, they can be applied in any situation where a bystander can step in and help someone whose health and safety is threatened. This program exemplifies USU’s Aggies Think, Care, Act movement, which immerses Aggies into a community of caring that values human dignity, equality, respect and safety for each member of the Aggie family. 

More About Upstanding

Utah State University launched Upstanding in fall semester 2017 as a pilot for the Utah Department of Health’s Violence and Injury Prevention Program, which developed the program. Upstanding is provided free throughout the state to communities, K-12 schools, and colleges and universities. It is based on best practices for violence prevention programs, and USU will assess its impact on attitudes and behaviors over time.

During the 2017-18 academic year, nearly 3,000 students were trained as Upstanders. In 2018-19, approximately 4,000 students, faculty, and staff participated in the program.