In an email sent to all students Monday afternoon, Central Student Government announced it will continue a program from the previous administration to encourage students to participate in Bystander Intervention training.
This initiative, a program CSG piloted under past-President David Schafer last year, will require any student organization wishing to claim more than $1,000 a semester in funding from the CSG Student Organization Funding Commission to have at least two of their authorized signers complete a Bystander Intervention course. The trainings, facilitated by Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center’s Bystander Intervention and Community Engagement program and Wolverine Wellness, aim to bring issues of sexual abuse, as well as drug and alcohol abuse, into the open. They are focused on empowering people who might witness incidences of misconduct to intervene and change campus culture surrounding these issues.
“We hope to create a space where your group is able to discuss how sexual misconduct and alcohol and other drug misuse may arise in your student organizations,” the email reads. “This training will help students think about personal life choices in a thoughtful, interactive and non-judgmental way.”
In the email, CSG highlighted the benefits of the training, writing it will allow students to identify examples of harmful behavior and learn effective methods for handling high-risk situations. It also emphasized the effect having two leaders of each organization complete the training could have on the wider membership of organizations.
“Relay the skills you learned to the rest of your student organization. … Apply your newfound knowledge, skills, and awareness to improve the climate both inside and outside of your student organization,” CSG wrote.
Five trainings throughout November and December have been scheduled to accommodate all students who want to complete the training. According to the email, authorized signers only need to complete one session to be eligible to claim over $1,000 in funding from CSG this semester or next semester. This policy will be in effect until the end of the winter 2018 semester.