Part of being a Wayne State Warrior means cultivating a culture of respect on campus and in the community. Our students, staff and faculty are committed to creating an environment that is safe and supports the education and career advancement of our students.
Wayne State periodically offers presentations regarding bystander intervention. You may have heard of the "bystander effect." This is the tendency for people NOT to intervene or step up in situations where others are present. Research has shown that 80% of people help when they are the lone bystander while only 20% of people are likely to help when other bystanders are present.
Why don't people always intervene?
- Diffusion of responsibility: bystanders may be concerned but believe someone else will help
- Conformity: bystanders may want to preserve relationships by not expressing their concerns or speaking up
- Ambiguity: bystanders may not know if the situation is a problem or not; if it is an emergency or not
How to recognize barriers and be an active bystander:
- Notice the event.
- Double check and confirm it's a problem.
- Recognize your personal barriers.
- Consider all your options.
You have multiple options!
- If you're comfortable, go up and check in. Tell someone to stop. Ask about the situation.
- If you think a situation is escalating, or that directly approaching the involved parties is not the best option, create a distraction. Go up and tell a funny joke. Spill your drink on someone. Interrupt and start your own conversation. Whatever safe distraction you can create to diffuse the situation will work.
- If you don't want to be personally involved, feel uncomfortable or unsafe, ask someone else for help. You could ask a bartender, a bouncer, a friend of the people involved, or the resident of the house you're at. Of course, you can also contact WSUPD if you feel unsafe.
WARNING! Whichever approach you take, keep in mind your own safety and the safety of others! Working around your barriers does NOT mean putting yourself at risk!