The university encourages students to help in preventing harmful and negative incidents by being responsible for their own personal safety, intervening if they are bystanders of such incidents, and educating themselves through university sponsored Title IX training.
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences takes acts of sexual violence and sexual harassment seriously. In an effort to educate students and comply with the Violence Against Women Act and the Office for Civil Rights federal guidelines, all students are required to complete online training on sexual violence prevention. A hold will be placed on your account, which will affect enrollment for the subsequent semester if the training has not been completed as requested. Training should take around 40 minutes.
Bystanders play a critical role in the prevention of sexual misconduct. There are a number of actions one can take to prevent a situation from escalating. It should be noted that it is always best to call 911 if anyone is in immediate danger.
In order to intervene, someone has to:
Notice the incident
- Bystanders must first notice the incident taking place. It's important to become attuned to what situations may be risky (e.g., If you’re in the hall and you notice a student trying to walk away from another student who will not stop grabbing that person to try and keep the individual in that location.)
Interpret the incident as emergency
- By "emergency," we mean a situation wherein there is risk of sexual or domestic violence occurring in the near future.
Assume responsibility for intervening
- When there are many people around, it has been found that individuals often believe someone else will intervene. At OSU-CHS, we are hopeful our students, faculty and staff will hold themselves, and other members of the OSU-CHS community, responsible for their actions.
Have the bystander intervention skills to help
- There are a number of different techniques an individual can use to intervene in a risky situation; some are listed below.
Bystander Intervention Techniques
When a situation threatens physical harm to you or someone else, ask for help or contact the police. Please remember that your safety is of the utmost importance.
- Step in and address the situation directly. For example, "That's not cool. Please stop." or "Hey, leave her alone." This technique tends to work better when the person you're trying to stop is someone you know. The direct approach is less successful when drugs or alcohol are being used because an individual’s ability to have a conversation about the situation may be impaired.
- To intervene, distract either person in the situation. For example, you see an individual harassing another individual on the street and you intervene by asking one of them for directions.
- Recruit help if necessary. Find others who can help you to intervene. If you are in a bar, ask a bouncer or bartender to assist you with addressing the situation.
- For many reasons, you may not be able to do something in the moment. For example, if you are feeling unsafe or are unsure whether someone in the situation is feeling unsafe, you may want to check with the person. In this case, you can combine “delay” with a distraction technique by asking the person to use the bathroom with you or go get a drink. This will separate that individual from the other person. Then, you can ask, “Are you okay?” or “How can I help you get out of this situation? Information from Vassar College Bystander Intervention website.
Students attending college accept new responsibilities, including taking appropriate measures to ensure their own personal safety.
In combination with OSU-CHS efforts to maintain a safe learning environment, the university encourages students to protect themselves. For additional information on campus safety, contact OSU-CHS Security on the first floor of the CAME Building or at 918-625-8592.