Second Annual Campus Safety Week to Focus on Bystander Intervention

Thursday, September 12 2013

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho will host the second annual Campus Safety Week and Katy Benoit Safety Forum Sept. 16-19. The week will culminate with the “Take Back the Night” march on Thursday, Sept. 19.

The program this year is built around the theme “I Got Your Back.” It is designed to raise student awareness of bystander intervention and high-risk behaviors and situations by providing practical intervention strategies and identifying a host of available resources. It also provides information to help students learn how to respond should their safety, or the safety of someone else, be at risk.

‘”The safety forum will challenge members of our university community to make good choices and to help others who may be in distress,” said Bruce Pittman, dean of students. “We want to encourage Vandals to take care of Vandals.”

The week-long event will open on Monday, Sept. 16 at 3 p.m. in the Idaho Commons with the Katy Benoit Safety Forum.

The Katy Benoit Safety Forum events include:
• What’s Your Green Dot? – 3-4 p.m. in the Idaho Commons Whitewater Room
• How to Help a Friend: Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Survivors Speaker’s Bureau Presentation and Question and Answer – 4-5 p.m. in the Idaho Commons Whitewater Room
• Stalking, Social Media and Technology – 6-7 p.m. in the Idaho Commons Whitewater Room
• Get the Facts! Red Flags and Relationships – 7-8 p.m. in the Idaho Commons Whitewater Room.

“Katy Benoit touched the lives of many people. This forum is a way to honor her life, her family and make the University of Idaho a safer, better place,” Pitman added.

UI Public Safety and Security will host information tables in the Idaho Commons on Tuesday, Sept.17 and Wednesday, Sept.18 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to promote the Vandal Alert system and the SafeWalk program on campus. The SafeWalk program is open to any student or employee who would rather not walk alone. Members of the University of Idaho community who are interested in this service can call (208) 874-7550 for assistance from a campus security officer.

On Wednesday, Sept. 18, the Vandal Health Education Health Hut for Bystander Intervention will provide students, staff and faculty with information and materials regarding bystander intervention and “I Got Your Back” from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Idaho Commons Plaza.

Craig Chatriand, associate dean of students, will conduct a special training session for staff and faculty during “Sexual Assault: Know What to Do When Students Tell You” on Wednesday, Sept. 18 and Thursday, Sept. 19 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Idaho Commons Clearwater Room. The session will provide information and tools to use if a student reports a sexual assault.

“Faculty and staff often have important opportunities to assist students who are in distress. A simple phone call to the Dean of Students Office or to emergency services may make a great deal of difference,” said Pitman.

Wednesday events continue with “Stop the Hate Training” from 3:30-5 p.m. in the Idaho Commons Clearwater Room. “Stop the Hate” is a nationwide program that focuses on fighting hate crimes and bias incidents on college campuses. This engaging and interactive program is designed to teach students, faculty and staff to take ownership of their peers’ actions, as well as their own.

The day will conclude with a self-defense workshop hosted by Peg Hamlett on the front lawn of the Student Recreation Center from 6:30-8 p.m.

Events continue on Thursday, Sept. 19 with alcohol education and screening in the Idaho Commons from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. in the Idaho Commons Rotunda. Students are encouraged to stop by for a personalized alcohol screening. Free pizza also will be available.

The LGBTQA will host OUTLunch from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Teaching and Learning Center, room 229. This lunch will feature a special guest speaker and will highlight the lives of the LGBTQA community on the Palouse.

This year’s “Take Back the Night” rally and march will conclude safety week on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. at the Agricultural Science Building auditorium. “Take Back the Night” provides an opportunity for anyone interested to take a stand, break the silence, and raise awareness of the need to address and prevent all forms of violence.

“Interpersonal violence is a crime that affects everyone – not just survivors, but also those close to them,” said Lysa Salsbury, director of the Women’s Center. “The ripple effects of violence can devastate entire communities. ‘Take Back the Night’ is our opportunity to send a critical, united message that we will not condone violence on our campus.”

“Take Back the Night” will begin with a keynote address by UI English professor Terry Lingrey, a rape survivor. Lingrey frequently speaks to community groups about her experience to inspire other survivors as well as advocates, bystanders, and those involved in humanitarian and justice efforts on behalf of survivors and victims of violent crime. Her message is predominantly one of redemption, hope, personal courage and the strength of the human spirit.

Following the keynote presentation, participants are invited to join in a candlelight march around campus. At the conclusion of the march, participants will gather back at the starting point for complimentary refreshments, and a Speak-Out and Open Mic. The first 100 attendees will receive a free T-shirt. The event is free and open to the public.

“This important event provides an opportunity for those affected by violence to speak up and speak out,” said Salsbury. “Survivors are often encouraged or feel obligated to stay silent about their attacks. ‘Take Back the Night’ provides a caring community of supporters to help survivors give voice to their experiences.”

This year’s “Take Back The Night” is sponsored by the University of Idaho Women’s Center, Violence Prevention Programs, Greek Life, University Housing, Vandal Health Education, the University of Idaho Department of Public Safety, Planned Parenthood, Votes Northwest, Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, UI VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood, and Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc., with additional support and sponsorship from The Argonaut.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking or harassment, it is never too late to get help. For more information call the Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse 24-hour crisis line (208) 883-HELP (4357) or the Moscow Police Department at (208) 882-COPS (2677).

For further information about “Take Back the Night,” please contact Colleen Kulesza, Women’s Center Program Coordinator,, (208) 885-2777.

Additional university safety events include:

• Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October
• Mental Health Awareness Week – Oct. 7-11
• National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week – Oct. 14-18
• Tie One On for SAFETY Campaign – Nov. 18 through Jan. 1, 2014
• Stalking Awareness Month in January
• Dating Violence Awareness Month in February
• Sexual Responsibility Week – Feb. 10-14, 2014
• Spring Break Safety – March 10-14, 2014
• Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April
• Summer Safety in May

For additional information about Campus Safety Week, visit or call the Dean of Students Office at (208) 885-6757.
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