Step Up!

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The Step Up! program is a bystander intervention training to help students learn strategies and techniques to intervene directly and indirectly in emergency and non-emergency situations. Students encounter a wide-range of issues including academic integrity, alcohol abuse, anger, depression, discrimination, gambling, hazing, relationship abuse and sexual assault. Simply understanding bystander intervention makes you more likely to intervene and prevent problems from occurring.

Step Up! is a national movement. Colleges and universities across the nation are adopting the program. At Hampden-Sydney there are eleven faculty and staff on the training team. To learn more about Step Up! or to request training for your club/organization, contact Shawn White at 434-223-6318 or email:

Step Up H-SC: Dealing with Bias and Bullying

Interrupting biased or hurtful comments or behavior can be challenging. But doing nothing (being a silent bystander) risks letting others think you approve of the behavior. We encourage you to step up and speak up!

Being prepared for these moments is the best way to be effective.

  • Treat people with respect. (Avoid using angry words — that makes it hard for people to hear what you have to say. “Be the change you want to see.”)
  • Have a statement you can use as a quick response in many situations and practice saying it. (Such as: I’m surprised to hear you say that. Or I don’t find that funny. Even a one-word response said the right way can work: Really? Seriously? Or Dude.)
  • Questions can be a way to follow up on that initial comment. Having to explain a stereotype, put-down, or “joke” can make people think twice in the future. (What do you mean by that?)
  • Share how their comment or behavior impacts you (I don’t think you meant to disturb me, but you did, because… Or I don’t think you meant it, but how I felt was…)
  • If someone else speaks up, chime in and support them — build the momentum.

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Resources for help:

  • Emergency: 911
  • Campus Security and Police: (434) 223-6164
  • Residence On Call Support: (434) 223-6667
  • Office of Academic Success: (434) 223-6286
  • Chaplaincy: (434) 223-6269
  • Office of Student Affairs: (434) 223-6128
  • Career Education and Vocational Reflection: (434) 223-6106
  • Counseling and Psychological Services: (434) 223-6411
  • Student Health Services: (434) 223-6167
  • Substance Education: (434) 223-6318
  • TxtAboutIt: 865-4-TIGERS (What is TxtAboutIt?)