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We asked ASU students whether they had observed the following situations during the past 12 months. and if so, had they intervened. Of those who observed the situations:
Some students worry Stepping Up might not be appreciated by the person they are trying to help. We asked ASU students how they would respond if they were a victim.
Sources: American College Health Association. American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment: Arizona State University Spring 2019. Baltimore: American College Health Association; Spring 2019 (n=2,096).
Stepping Up ranges from small acts of kindness, like holding a door open for someone, to acts of heroism that may make a significant difference.
This step requires some quick thinking and empathizing. Ask yourself:
Stepping Up is Prosocial Behavior
Prosocial behavior is any act performed with the goal of benefitting another person. This includes helping, cooperating, and altruism.
Stepping Up Counteracts the Bystander Effect
The bystander effect is a phenomenon that occurs when the presence of other witnesses to a negative event discourages individual witnesses from taking action to help.
People look to those around them for cues on how to act, particularly if they are in a new situation. If no one else is taking action, a person may think the situation is not actually a problem or someone has already called for help. Another explanation is the responsibility to act is perceived as diffused among the people present. The more people, the less responsibility to act any one person feels.
Situational characteristics are the most influential factors of whether or not people Step Up
The presence of individual leadership and shared responsibility is key to a thriving community. We are all part of a community both here at ASU and in our cities. We must take care of our communities as if we have built them with our own two hands.
The decisions we make to lead or share responsibility will confirm or create new unspoken rules we all live by. Take ownership and pride in what we can do individually and what we can accomplish together.
Do what is right, not what is easy.
Step Up ASU!
Step Up ASU! was adapted from the StepUp! Be a Leader, Make a Difference program at the University of Arizona with permission from Becky Bell.
Q: Would you pick up a piece a trash as you walked by?
Q: What would you do if you heard someone in your study group using derogatory language?
Q: What if you noticed someone being pressured into drinking?
Many who face situations like these don’t think they can do anything. You may want to act but don’t know how. If you know what to do, you will feel more confident taking action. The more often you Step Up and do something, the more confident you will become.
Has there been a time when you could have intervened in a problematic situation but didn’t and then later thought, “If only I would have done something, said something, talked to someone….”
Reflect on how you felt. Did your conscience nag you afterwards?
Build your skills and confidence to Step Up when you have an opportunity to make a difference.
We are a community of students, staff and faculty who care about the well-being of each other. Step Up when someone needs a hand, a word, a smile, support, resources, and especially when you have the potential to reduce harm.
Make the community a better place for your friends and other community members.