Stepping it up

By Rachel Anderson ’17, Staff Writer

Dutchmen, step up.

Step Up! is a bystander intervention training that teaches college students to be proactive in helping each other. Students learn how to notice unhealthy behaviors and gain the confidence to intervene with five easy steps.

In August, eight LVC student-athletes teamed up with LVC’s head men’s and women’s cross country coach James O’Brien to create a promotional video on Step Up! titled, “It’s On Us.” The video encourages students to recognize when their peers are suffering from physical, emotional or mental abuse.

“Students can make an impact on their team,” Jackie Dando, LVC’s head women’s lacrosse coach and SAAC coordinator, said. “We want to give them the confidence and skills to be able to step up in an emergency or non-emergency situation.”

Lebanon Valley College is among many college campuses that are taking part in the Step Up! training. On September 25, roughly 500 student-athletes at LVC participated in a Step Up! workshop led by members of the LVC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

“We really believe it takes one person to make a change,” Dando said. “If we can inspire one person to step up, it will continue to ignite and grow our campus.”

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) comprises more than 45 student-athletes from LVC’s 23 sports. Various members of SAAC are also part of the Personal Development Committee that helped plan the Step Up! workshop. This committee aims to give students the ability to step up in uncomfortable settings before an emergency situation develops.

“If we can start to make some impact, it can certainty grow to a campus community that is really caring and takes care of one another,” Rick Beard, Director of Athletics, said. “I think it is very important that our student athletes start the initiative.”

Through the Step Up! training and “It’s On Us” video, student-athletes at Lebanon Valley College are developing the skills and confidence to help each other. As Dutchmen, it means to care for one another.