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University Health Services

Bystander Intervention

Gamecocks Stand Up, previously known as Stand Up Carolina, is the University of South Carolina's bystander intervention initiative. It is a shared goal based on the idea that Gamecocks stand up for each other in big and small ways. By empowering everyone in the Carolina community to be an active bystander, we can influence the outcome of potentially harmful situations and impact our culture.

Although bystander intervention can seem simple, we know that it is not always easy to do. 

Whether it is a case of relationship violence or academic burnout, there are a few common warning signs you can be aware of. Just by knowing the signs, even in a general way, you will be better equipped to step in and speak up for your fellow Gamecocks.

Signs that someone may need help include:

  • Withdrawing from social contact
  • Engaging in self-destructive or risky behavior
  • Drastic changes in mood, sleep, appetite or academics
  • Persistent sadhopeless or empty feelings
  • In physical distress - unconscious, having difficulty breathing or bleeding heavily

For specific warning signs, follow the hashtag #GamecocksStandUp wherever you are social.

Even when you recognize that a situation may be harmful or potentially dangerous, it may still be difficult to know whether or not you should intervene.

Questions like "is it safe?," "is it my business?," "will the conversation be awkward?" or "could this hurt our friendship?" are normal and important for you to answer yourself. Remember that Gamecocks Stand Up for each other. In fact, 83% of students report that they would intervene on behalf of another student in a negative situation. 

Confidence and competence can positively impact our ability to decide to intervene. If you are interested in building those skills, you can check out our upcoming events and programs or request a presentation for your department, office or organization.

There are four styles of intervention that may be useful during your time at UofSC.  You may use a combination of strategies if you decide to intervene.

Direct: Step in to address the situation head on and state your intended actions out loud. When choosing a direct approach to bystander intervention, always remember to assess your own safety first.

Distract: Any actions that pulls the attention away from the problematic behavior, changes the topic of conversation or the direction of the harmful behavior. Distraction strategies are often a good place to state and may allow you to create some space from the situation and check in on those involved.

Delegate: If you're uncomfortable, find someone with the skills and training to handle the situation at hand. If you decide to delegate, remain with or in contact with the individual until they are connected with the appropriate resource.

Delay: If you can't intervene in the moment, you can show support by reaching out. Sending a text message, offering to accompany them to see someone who can help them or just being present can go a long way in making a person feel supported and connected with the Gamecock community.

When you begin to recognizedecide and stand up, not only will you feel more confident in your ability to effectively intervene, but your fellow Gamecocks will feel empowered to do the same.

This is how we change our culture.

This is how we make UofSC a healthier place to live, learn, work and play.

This is how Gamecocks Stand Up.

Gamecocks Stand Up

My roommate has had a really overwhelming semester and now I barely see them study or do work for their classes…what’s next?

Stress and burnout can look like:

  • Loss of motivation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Physical symptoms, like headaches or nausea

Support a fellow Gamecock by listening without judgment and offering advice with permission.

Connect them with Wellness Coaching for stress management or let them know there is free online support through the TAO App.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.