Bystander Training promises a new era of safety and inclusivity to campus

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 Kathryn O’Connor                                                                                                           News Editor

UNO strives to make the campus a more inclusive place by requiring students to complete Bystander Training before the end of the semester. Photo courtesy of UNO Presence

To make the campus community experience more welcoming and inclusive, every student attending UNO is required to attend an in-person, peer-informed training by the end of the semester. The training prepares students to respond effectively to dangerous situations to help keep campus safe. 

Hosted by The Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, the training focuses on providing students with tools to be active bystanders in situations where they see problem behaviors occurring. In the training, issues of interpersonal violence will be the primary topic; however, the tools gained during the training can be extended to a variety of situations. 

To give students the necessary tools to be more comfortable on campus and help them understand limitations when intervening in real life, project coordinator Cassie Neal and graduate student Megan Heidenreich are educating others on how to identify when problem behaviors are occurring. They are teaching techniques to intervene in various situations and knowledge of interpersonal violence resources. 

“The Gender and Sexuality Resource Center hopes to create a culture of consent and communication,” they said. “After the training, we want students to embody the Maverick Spirit by taking the knowledge they gained and applying it in their lives and sharing it with others in their communities.”

All students must register and attend one training before the end of the academic semester. Trainings occur at various times throughout the day as well as throughout the week. All students within the Nebraska University System are required to complete Bystander Intervention Training. The expectation is the result of Nebraska University System President Ted Carter’s Executive Memorandum 44. 

To register, log into Presence and register for a training by searching “Bystander Intervention” and making sure all the options are visibly expanding the dates from August to December.

Students can reach out to the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center at unogsrc@unomaha.edu with questions and refer to the Executive Memorandum 44, which discusses the sexual misconduct training standards. 

“We know how prevalent interpersonal violence is on campus and in the community. It is an issue we hope to mitigate through teaching awareness and intervention,” they said. “Every person plays a role within their communities; with the skills learned, people can be more effective and confident when taking an active role against these forms of violence.”

 

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