BADASS Active Bystander Intervention

CC students are so BADASS. Not only are they smart, driven, and adventurous, but they also care about the community they live in. Rather than being passive bystanders when they witness troubling behavior, they strive to be active bystanders who take action to make sure that CC is a safe, accepting, and fun place to spend four years. Being a BADASS means Being Aware, Deciding to Act, and Saying Something.

There are many situations that would call for a BADASS active bystander, including disrespectful or abusive behavior, homophobic, racist, or sexist jokes, discrimination, risky behavior resulting from substance use, or taking advantage of power imbalances (like status, size, or level of inebriation). The BADASS Campaign focuses on three areas: preventing sexual and relationship violence, responding to people in distress, and creating an inclusive community.

Being a BADASS doesn't have to be dramatic. It can be as simple as saying something like, "Are you OK?" or "Can I talk to you for a sec?" or "That's really not cool."

Some keys to safe bystander action are:

  • Safety in numbers: Identify others who could help you (i.e., friends, party host, RA, police)
  • "I" statements: The conflict resolutions skills you learned in elementary school really do work. "I" statements focus on your feelings rather than criticizing the other person and include three parts: (1) state your feelings, (2) name the behavior, and (3) state how you'd like the person to respond.
  • Bringing it home: Showing someone how the impact of their behavior would feel if directed at them or someone they care about prevents them from dehumanizing the target of their behavior. (i.e., "I hope no one ever talks about you like that.")
  • Be a pal: Reframing the intervention as your attempt to help someone be successful/stay out of trouble. (i.e., "As your friend, I gotta tell you that the way you treat women at parties is not helping your reputation.")
  • Distraction can be the action: Distraction can keep things from happening, and snap people out of "comfort zone" behavior that come from sexism, homophobia, or racism.

We'd love to hear your stories of being a BADASS! Send them to or

Resources:  The Wellness Resource Center and other campus offices like The Butler Center offer workshops and trainings to learn the skills it takes to be a BADASS.  You may also find the following resources helpful as you build your skills as a BADASS Active Bystander:

Hollaback! is a global, people-powered movement to end harassment — in all its forms. Their website has a lot of resources for Active Bystander Intervention:

The NO MORE Foundation is dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault by increasing awareness, inspiring action, and fueling culture change. They have Tips and Scenarios for learning more about how to be an effective Active Bystander:  

We recommend these readings to learn more about responding to microaggressions:

We recommend trainings like Mental Health First Aid and Question, Persuade, Respond (QPR) to build your skills in helping someone who is struggling with mental health challenges, but these websites have some great quick tips:



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In addition to the regular BADASS Active Bystander Intervention Training, the WRC offers a social host training that is tailored to equip social hosts in planning and executing safe and fun parties. Building off of the original BADASS program's three main prongs (prevent sexual and relationship violence, build an inclusive campus community, and respond to people in distress), the BADASS Social Host Training is designed to help hosts construct environments that are inclusive consent-oriented, and trauma-informed. For more information on those values, see the Campus Party Culture. Here are some tips for being a BADASS Active Bystander when you're in a social host role:

Be Aware

  • Divide and conquer so one housemate is responsible for keeping an eye out in each area of the house
  • Keep lighting and crowds at levels that don't compromise your ability to observe
  • Types of behaviors to watch out for (especially in a party context): sexually predatory behavior, over-intoxication, physical aggression, offensive, inflammatory, or discriminatory remarks

Decide to Act

  • You have heightened responsibility as a social host
  • Trust your gut and center your values

Say Something

  • Remember the 3 Ds: Direct, Distract, Delegate
  • Consult your housemates and other friends
  • Call Campus Safety if the situation feels beyond your control or you aren't sure what to do

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Report an issue - Last updated: 06/08/2023

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