Workshops and Trainings on Bystander Behavior
June, 2005

Alan D. Berkowitz, Ph.D.


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Addressing Bystander Behavior Among Students and Colleagues

For almost all problems experienced by students there are bystanders: individuals who are concerned about the problem but don't act on their concern. This may result in not responding to misbehavior, prejudicial remarks, and other problems. Bystanders want to act but don't. This session will review the reasons for bystander behavior and provide guidelines for how to reduce it, helping individuals act in ways that are more congruent with their values and ideals. Situations will be explored in which staff may act as bystanders as well.

Bystander Intervention Training

Student affairs professionals have to address a bewildering array of health social justice issues in our work with students. Yet one of the most important elements of effective prevention is often overlooked in our efforts – the role of bystanders. For almost all problems experienced by students there are bystanders: individuals who are concerned about the problem but don't act on their concern. This may result in not responding to misbehavior, prejudicial remarks, and other problems. Bystanders want to act but don't. How can we encourage ourselves, our students and out colleagues to act on our core values and intervene in problematic situations?

This two-day workshop for student affairs professionals will have three components: an overview of the research and theory on bystander behavior, guidelines for using the social norms approach to reveal individuals’ concerns and desire to intervene, and training models for how to intervene in problematic situations that can be used to teach students and staff. The goal of the training is to acquire the understanding and skills necessary to foster actions that are more congruent with values and ideals. Situations will be explored in which staff may act as bystanders as well.