Active Bystanders: Stags Asked to Step Up


Active Bystanders: Stags Asked to Step Up

The Step Up Stags program was introduced to students this year as part of the First-Year Experience Program (FYE). Step Up Stags, an active bystander program, was launched in conjunction with the Center for Family Justice. FYE, mandatory for all first-year students, provides a foundation to learn more about Fairfield, Jesuit values, and encourages students to take advantage of all Fairfield offers.

Step Up Stags is a 50-minute course taught by a community educator from the Center for Family Justice. Over the course of three weeks, the class was taught to 1,000 first-year students. Its main goals are to make students more aware of the importance of being an active bystander, as well as highlighting the resources and reporting options we have on campus. This series includes an online class called “Haven” and two lectures led by campus administrators.

"Both the University and the Center are proud about the program. The survey results have also shown a high satisfaction rate with the program. I think the program can only improve as we move forward," reported Dean of Students Karen Donoghue after this initial round of training.

The Center for Family Justice’s main goal is to provide services and resources to help break the cycle of violence. The Center partnered with the University to bring in a community educator to talk about sexual assault culture on college campuses and teach first-year students how to be proactive peers and to "step up" and stop perpetuating gender stereotypes to end sexual violence. The Center also educated students about how to intervene if they see a potential assault or an actual assault occurring.

The program is also about connecting the program with Fairfield’s Jesuit mission. “It’s not just about ending assault; it’s about ending all types of violence and encouraging students to not stay silent,” said Donoghue. “Society has created a culture that does not encourage active bystanders, and we want to change that at Fairfield.”

Step Up Resources

- Resources for survivors

- See the Step Up video

- Read the materials: Brochure SMART Card Poster


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