Saint Louis University

Bystander Event

Topic Area:

Student who witnessed a Disturbing Event

Though a student may not have directly experienced a disturbing event, being a witness can leave bystanders with a host of questions, concerns, and sometimes significant emotional impact.

- DO -
• Consider checking in with the student if you are directly aware that they have witnessed a serious event
• Take seriously whatever questions or thoughts are coming up for the student
• Refer for support if the student's functioning is significantly impaired

- DON'T -
• Minimize if the student presents this concern ("well, you didn't get hurt")
• Tell a student that they should have been able to completely control the situation

Urgent Assessment
University Counseling Center - (314) 977-TALK (8255)
Dean of Students - (314) 977-9378
Student Support and Parent & Family Programs - (314) 977-9378

The University encourages students to become active bystanders especially when dealing with a life threatening event.  For more information on bystander events and the University's policy regarding bystander intervention, see SLU's Responsible Action Protocol and/or visit the Office of Student Responsibility and Community Standards page.

Students, faculty and staff may also assist as a bystander by reporting anonymously an event that occurs on campus by utilizing STOP, CALL, REPORT. Call the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness at (314) 977-3000 or e-mail a Voluntary Confidential Report.


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