The best part of taking the bystander courses was getting the opportunity to be directly involved with the community on our campus. I had facilitated the workshop twice, both times to an all male group. The comments directed to my partner and I left us in awe, we did not realize how big of an impact we had on people, especially males! The feeling of knowing people left the workshops mindful of sexual violence and developed a willingness to act as pro-social bystanders due to our efforts as facilitators, means we are working towards creating a more safe community for generations to come.
Taking these courses prepared me for my future of becoming an educator. Teachers can have the greatest influence on a person’s character; they can inspire and encourage their students within the classroom environment. The knowledge I obtained in the bystander courses has positively changed my worldviews. It is my duty to convey this knowledge and as a future educator I plan on incorporating such experiences with the bystander courses into my curriculum. I believe that encouraging pro-social bystanders at younger ages is another step towards a more just society.
Other students should take these courses because they have opened my eyes to an entire new perspective through which I view the world. A lot of what I brushed off as ‘normal behaviour’ from males turned out to be extremely problematic. This demonstrates the need for such courses; education is power. The society we currently have is damaging, it places victims at fault, and allows perpetrators to walk free from their crimes. We as a community need the information taught in the courses to be able to call out and distinguish problematic behaviours and stop them from escalading.