SGA supports mandatory bystander intervention training

Kayla Solino | @kaylasolino, Staff Reporter

The Student Government Association Senate unanimously approved a resolution on Thursday calling for mandatory bystander intervention training for all freshmen. 

The resolution, authored by College of Arts and Sciences Senator John Dodd, was sponsored by over a dozen senators and endorsed by the executive board of Men Against Rape and Sexual Assualt. It calls for the creation of a working group to explore the possibility of implementing mandatory bystander intervention training for all freshmen. 

The approved resolution will be sent to UA President Stuart Bell, Vice President and Provost James Dalton, Vice President for Student Life Myron Pope, and Faculty Senate President Chapman Greer for review.

The University currently requires all new students to complete EverFi, a video-based education program designed to inform students about campus-specific information through five modules: AlcoholEdu; Sexual Assault Prevention; Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention; Mental Well-Being; and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 

Dodd said administrators will be included in the working-group discussions to make bystander intervention part of the new student EverFi training. 

“I think it’s important that any steps we can take on this campus or with legislation to prevent sexual assault, we need to do it,” Dodd said. 

Earlier this month, the Division of Student Life launched a sexual assault and interpersonal violence taskforce last month. Tut Wilson, chair of the task force and executive director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, said the task force hopes to implement bystander intervention programming. 

MARS President Jacob Pickle said the organization looks forward to creating a community where students know how to look out for each other.

“We are very proud of this resolution and are hopeful that through this education we can create a community of active bystanders,” Pickle said.

SGA Press Secretary Olivia Davis said the SGA supports Dodd’s resolution. 

“The SGA supports any initiative aimed at increasing education and awareness among the campus community,” Davis said. “The opportunity for bystander intervention training demonstrates our commitment to campus safety and well-being.” 

Ty Boyle contributed to the reporting of this story.

Questions? Email the News desk at newsdesk@cw.ua.edu.