A safer SCU: Report of a student forum on bystander intervention to prevent sexual assault

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The Issue: All across America, sexual misconduct exists on college campuses, but seldom is it properly addressed or even discussed. This is a serious problem, as the vast majority of sexual misconduct incidents go unreported on college campuses, including at Santa Clara University (SCU). 1 Amidst growing national attention to the problem, SCU recently committed itself to “a zero tolerance policy for gender-based discrimination and sexual misconduct,” including sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, stalking, and sexual harassment.2 The University’s Violence Prevention Program (VPP) has formed a committee of faculty, staff, and students to design a bystander intervention program to transform the campus culture and prevent sexual misconduct before it happens.

The Forum: Because this issue is both timely and important to the health and wellbeing of our campus, students in a Communication course on Dialogue and Deliberation (COMM 128B) organized a forum to gather student input on designing the bystander intervention program. Over 40 students participated in the forum. In this report, we share our findings with the VPP and the campus community.


Edited report by students in Dialogue and Deliberation course.