Student Athletes Participate in Bystander Intervention Training

Austin Weber

On Monday, Jan. 29, freshmen student athletes completed the second part of their alcohol and sexual assault bystander training. 

This was part of the ‘Life Skills’ program that student athletes attend throughout their freshman year at the University.

Last week, student athletes heard a presentation from representatives of the Office of Health Promotion titled, “Introduction to Being a Bystander and Alcohol Prevention.” 

This portion of the program focused on alcohol-related issues on college campuses and sought to educate those in attendance about the situations where student athletes are bystanders to alcohol related incidents. 

The student athletes were also guided on various effective methods for intervening in these situations.

This week’s training, led by Villanova Title IX coordinator Ryan Rost, was titled “Sexual Violence Prevention and Being a Bystander.” 

The primary focus was on educating students on how to recognize instances of sexual assault and how to stop such instances from escalating or preventing them altogether. 

Rost, a former Villanova student athlete herself, discussed many different forms of sexual assault that occur on college campuses and explained many ways thatbystanders can act to stop such situations.

Alcohol and sexual assault intervention training is now mandated by the NCAA for all student athletes. All athletes at the University will undergo the mandated training before the end of the school year. 

Overall, this program emphasizes the goal of raising awareness for sexual violence on campus.

On Monday, the freshman were told about how Jay Wright, Head Men’s Basketball coach, joinedwith Governor Tom Wolf to launch the, “It’s on us PA” campaign in June of 2016. 

“It’s on us PA” is a part of the larger “It’s on us” campaign started in 2014. The initiative is focused on how universities, organizations and citizens, specifically in Pennsylvania, can take a stand against sexual violence.

“I am determined,” said Governor Wolf said, according to a press release by the Governor’s Office, “to make Pennsylvania a shining example to the rest of the world of what committed citizens can do to make our world better. It is truly on all of us to accomplish this goal.”

Coach Wright echoed this sentiment. “At Villanova University, love and respect are essential to the life of our community,” Wright said. “We believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to create a safe and caring community and prevent sexual violence.”

“This means that we step up and step in during the moments that matter.” 

This resonates with the  message from the intervention training as success in stopping sexual assault comes from every member of the community doing their part in stepping up to stop instances of sexual assault. 

It was made clear to the student athletes in the training that each individual has a responsibility to look out for every other student on the university campus.

Rost informed the students about the many resources at the university for survivors of sexual assault. 

The Title IX office, the Sexual Assault Resource Coordinator Team (SARC), and University counseling center among others are campus resources that are available to all students. 

These services will help victims of any form of sexual violence and protect and advocate for survivors.