New Dukes learn how to step up

by Caitlyn Read


As part of 1787 August Orientation, all first-year students recently took part in “Dukes Step Up!”, a bystander intervention program that educates students to be proactive in helping others.

During the small-group sessions, Dukes teach their fellow Dukes strategies and techniques to intervene directly or indirectly in both emergency and non-emergency situations. These situations include, but are not limited to instances of sexual assault, alcohol abuse, hazing and discrimination.

With their peers, new students discuss real-life situations in an open, honest and non-judgmental forum. They use the five steps of stepping up to guide the conversation. The steps include:

  1. Noticing the event
  2. Interpreting the event as a problem
  3. Assuming personal responsibility
  4. Having the skills to intervene
  5. Implementing the help

“This training ensures that students have the knowledge and skills they need to be able to stand up for their friends, peers – even strangers,” said Lesley Eicher, a health educator at JMU’s Health Center. “We don’t just hold doors for each other here at JMU, we step up for each other.”

This program was developed originally by The University of Arizona C.A.T.S. Life Skills Program, along with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and national leading experts. Hundreds of colleges, universities and organizations are using Step UP! materials.


Aug. 22, 2014

Published: Friday, August 22, 2014

Last Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

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