June 3, 2011 - The men of the Alpha Chapter at the University of Central Missouri have been learning about bystander behavior and positive intervention through their participation in the EPIC project (Encouraging Positive Interventions in Chapters). Through the EPIC project, the Alpha Chapter won second place (the Theta Chi Fraternity took first) in a video contest held during their Greek Week.
“Making the EPIC video for Greek Week was a fun experience,” said Mitch Pryor, Alpha ’14. “We made a short video of how to properly intervene when a brother isn't acting in a manor a gentleman of Sigma Tau Gamma should. We covered the different methods of intervention we were presented with earlier in the semester.”
The video the brothers made demonstrated positive intervention when a brother was drinking too much and applied the skills they learned. You can view their video below.
sig tau video 2011 from UCM VSAP office on Vimeo.
“It [making the video] was a good way to get our spring recruits involved in Greek Week activities, and also show them how to handle those kinds of situations,” added Pryor. “I really enjoyed making the video and I am very proud that we won second place.”
Jenny Rabas, prevention specialist for UCM, taught the Alpha Chapter and the other fraternities and sororities at UCM about the concepts of bystander behavior and positive intervention during their EPIC training. Rabas also presented a program to our chapter presidents at the 2011 Earl A. Webb Academy of Principled Leaders.
Rabas taught the basics about what bystander behavior is, explaining that research found that while in a problem situation, people help out 80 percent of the time when they are alone and only 20 percent when they are in groups. However, if people are part of a group that has stated openly that intervening is valued, they are more likely to intervene.
Through surveys completed by the Alpha Chapter, the vast majority of members would want their brothers, as a group or individual, to intervene if they were having an issue with drinking or other high-risk behavior. In the video they made, the men illustrated how to intervene and promoted the positive norms of spending more time with brotherhood activities instead of partying.
There are a variety of positive intervention options. The video showed indirect ways of intervening (engaging allies and bystanders and making a plan) and also direct methods of intervention (confrontation by expressing feelings and shifting attitudes). The chart below provides these options for positive intervention, along with others that can be used.
Through open conversation and education, members of your chapter can follow this growing trend of positively intervening when there is a problem situation. To learn more information about the Epic project, click here.