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Bystander Intervention Program

By Charlotte Bickimer
On February 3, 2016

Photo by Rodney Latham


OTTAWA-- With a mission to cultivate agents of change within the Ottawa University community, Bystander Intervention, the new club on campus, is searching for a place in students’ lives.  

Bystander Intervention started on Sept. 2, 2015, and formally became a campus club on Dec. 2, 2015It originated at Arizona State and was adopted by other universities, like OU. The national club slogan is to “Step Up!”  

The squad has many purposes concerning the university. Bystander Intervention critically observes social issues affecting students on campus.   

Members of this club advocate for respect, kindness and healthy interactions. They promote personal responsibility and ownership in situations where it is important to take action.   

They ultimately hope to develop resources to educate, empower and assist members of the Ottawa Community. Their motto for this club is to “Be Brave.”   

The squad’s advisors are Libby Bettin and Donna Washington, who preside over 12 other members fall to conform this team.   

 “We want as many areas of people that can participate, said Bettin, expressing that diversity within the university is welcomed. Their goal is to make the group more racially diverse, as well as getting people from other groups, sports and students in general involved.   

To join the group, all you have to do is get in contact with one of the advisors or the members of the club and then attend the biweekly meetings usually held at 12:30 p.m. on Thursdays.   

Justin Leitner, a current member of Bystander Intervention, was asked what he wishes to see the club accomplish by the end of spring semester. He would like the club to be recognized by everyone on campus and to help unify the student body.  

“Hopefully, it helps people realize that nearly all of us are far away from our families and friends, but this institution and Bystander Intervention bridges a gap and helps you realize you aren’t alone in the struggles you’re experiencing," Leitner said 

Promotion bracelets in the colors of yellow, green and blue have spread across the campus. The major way in which the club reaches out to others is by offering one off these bracelets when they see someone providing a kind act toward someone else. 

They do so as an “acknowledgment to note people’s service to others or intervening in a positive way,” Washington said. This club is growing every week and expects to see smiling new faces at their meetings in hopes of becoming part of their “safe group.”  

Even if you choose not to join the group, they still wish to see you be brave and lend a helping hand to others in need

Now that they have a set budget, they hope to host one event this semester that will act as an invitation to inform and recruit students. It will be a great opportunity to get a general awareness of the club.  

“Members and new potential members will have an opportunity in a training session that will better explain what Bystander Intervention Club is all about,” Bettin said.

The date is yet to be determined but will be promoted via TV monitors around campus soon.  


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