Stand By, Not Stand-By

Student group uses performance arts to address sexual misconduct

Alexa Mitchell '16

Sexual misconduct, a huge issue on college campuses, is being combatted at St. Lawrence by a group of students who are bringing the nationwide “Stand By Me” program to the University. Through presentations and skits, they teach their peers about being an active bystander, “someone who notices and speaks up in a sexual misconduct situation at a social event, for example,” Greg Gardner ’17 explains. Having been introduced to the program at Clarkson University last summer, he and several friends saw the need to bring it to campus and join with organizations such as LGBTetc., the Women’s Resource Center, SLU Advocates and Male Athletes Against Sexual Violence to address issues of sexual misconduct at St. Lawrence.

“We wanted to prove that you can have a party and keep it controlled, while setting an example on how to be an effective bystander,” Dan Hedden ’16 says.

“We started by giving presentations to orientation leaders, CAs, sports captains and first-years,” says Connor McAleney ’16.

“We do a couple of skits that illustrate being an active bystander and then we discuss the topic and explain why this type of education is important on college campuses,” Dan explains.

“The first skit is about a freshman at a senior townhouse who gets left behind by friends, while the second is about a very intoxicated student who is hitting on an uninterested student at an off-campus party.” Connor adds. “In both, we explain how others should intervene and help, rather than just watching.”

The group, comprised of 10 students, received excellent feedback during the fall and plans to continue holding events throughout the spring. Jenna Jasinski ’16, the group’s president, says, “The feedback has helped us shape our presentations and skits, and we look forward to working with different groups on campus as we grow.”