Tuesday, October 3, 2017

LVC Opens 2017-18 Initiative With Step UP! Kickoff

Photo Courtesy of LVC Sports Information
ANNVILLE, Pa. – On Sunday night, Oct. 1, 500-plus student-athletes joined coaches, administrators, and special guests that included Lebanon Valley College President Lewis E. Thayne at Sorrentino Gymnasium to continue LVC Athletics' Bystander Intervention Initiative at the school's annual Step UP! kickoff event.


The event opened with a welcome from women's lacrosse head coach and overseer of LVC's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Jackie Dando. She introduced members of the SAAC leadership board, including president Russ Armbruster, vice president Katie Goldsmith, and secretary Nate Gibbons.

Armbruster and Goldsmith shared personal reflections with their peers and candidly spoke about issues that caused them to reach out for support. They spoke about the benefit of the Step UP! program and thanked coaches, teammates, and friends for their guidance during the tough times each of them faced.

Following the reflections, LVC premiered a teaser video produced by cross country head coach James O'Brien '07, M'16 that focused on four distinct situations that affect college students, including drinking and driving, sexual assault/harassment, cyber bullying, and concussions. It was announced that every Tuesday, information regarding the continuation of the Step UP! program will be posted on GoDutchmen.com, as well as on LVC Athletics' Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook channels.

An announcement was also made regarding the creation of a new award to be handed out to the LVC athletic team most active in spreading the Step UP! message on social media using the hashtag #DutchmenStepUP. The award will be presented at the College's annual All-Sports Reception in the spring of 2018.

Finally, coaches and student-athletes came together to play a Step UP!-themed version of Family Feud. The men's and women's teams faced off against each other, with the men's squads edging out a slim victory to advance to the second round. The men's ice hockey team was victorious in the second round and qualified for the fast money round. Eventually, the squad racked up enough points (and got an assist from Armbruster) in the final round to earn a pizza party for the entire team.

The Step UP! program revolves around one essential question: Have you ever been concerned about a situation and wanted to help…but didn't? If you can answer yes to this question, you're not alone. This situation is more common than you might think and is known as the bystander effect. Step UP! is the Bystander Intervention Program with five decision-making steps and strategies for effective helping in difficult situations.

This fall, trainings were held for all freshmen and transfer student-athletes. The sessions highlighted ways for the underclassmen to make a difference in uncomfortable situations they come across in their everyday lives. These range anywhere from cheating, drugs and alcohol abuse, and anger, to depression, unhealthy relationships, and discrimination. Regardless of the situation, students were encouraged to recognize the problem, step up, and help each other out.

The LVC Step UP! Five-Step Program

Step One
Notice the Event
- Be aware and keep an eye out for others.

Step Two
Interpret It as a Problem
- Investigate by asking questions and getting others involved.

Step Three
Assume Personal Responsibility
- What would you want someone else to do for you?

Step Four
Know How to Help
- Know yourself. Understand what you are capable of doing without putting yourself in harm's way.

Step Five
Step Up!
- Be the first to take action to resolve the situation.

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