StepUp. Prosocial Behavior, Bystander Intervention Program Launched

StepUp.PHOTO CAPTION: StepUp. is a bystander intervention program that educates students to be proactive in helping others. It is a movement and a goal to make Ferris State University a better place, one student and one situation at a time.


Bystander intervention is a major component of the StepUp. program that Ferris State University launched in April 2016.

StepUp. is a prosocial behavior and bystander intervention program that educates and encourages Ferris students to proactively help each other. As part of this effort, a StepUp. training program will be hosted by Ferris student facilitators who have completed the specialized training that qualifies them to promote safe and effective bystander intervention. The StepUp. program will run through the 2016-17 academic year. Now, through the Fall 2016 semester, Ferris students will have opportunities to visit University Center and to sign the StepUp. pledge wall.

“Although our campus is a safe environment, bystander intervention is a lifelong skill,” said Nicholas Campau, interim dean of student life. “It’s important to remember that one person can make a difference. We want to create a community that is prepared to StepUp. and help others.”

Campau further noted that the program’s goal is to encourage students to effectively and proactively intervene in situations in which a concern exists related to factors such as alcohol consumption, gender violence, mental health or an unhealthy relationship status.

Marketing of the StepUp. program has been designed to help spread the word. During the Fall 2015 semester, StepUp. was accepted as a client by the Design Project Center, run by College of Business students in the Graphic Design program. The student designers’ task was to develop a campaign that would create a unique identity for Ferris’ StepUp. program. Three related goals were to encourage students to attend StepUp. training, empower students who have gone through the training to intervene if they feel it is necessary and to teach those who have not gone through the program to better understand the importance of bystander intervention. The campaign includes an online social movement as well as printed materials on display around campus.

“I would like to thank our student designers from the Design Project Center for all of their hard work,” Campau said. “These students went above and beyond our expectations for this project. Through their hard work, we will be able to create a stronger ethical community where we not only recognize the inherent dignity of each person and treat all with respect, but will know how to safely intervene when that is not happening.”

The online movement can be explored at the StepUp. online website. There, visitors can learn more about bystander intervention, take the online pledge that links to social media and share virtual stickers. Social media users are encouraged use #itsuptoyou as they participate in training and to share success stories. Community members will also find mirrors on campus that they can take their picture in with a StepUp. speech bubble around them.

Individuals who are interested in StepUp. facilitator training, or to have training done for a class, department, student organization or other group should email studentlifeoffice@ferris.edu.

Campau noted contributions from the division of Student Affairs, the division of Academic Affairs, College of Business, Design Project Center, the Honors Program, Personal Counseling Center, Student Conduct and the Dean of Student Life office.

The StepUp program is being used, at Ferris, with the permission of the University of Arizona Life Skills Program.

Click StepUp to learn more about this program and click Title IX to learn more about other efforts at the university.