UNI Presidential Scholars Take on Bystander Training Development and Bring it to College Hill


According to Rainn.org, “College Women are three times more likely to experience sexual violence.”  A group of UNI Presidential Scholars has taken up the project creation and implementation of a sexual assault bystander training.  This training was originally started by the partnership of several UNI graduate students and The Riverview Center. Over recent years, many bystander trainings have been created and used in areas adjacent to Universities.  “Raise the Bar” a program to help train local bar staff was developed at the University of Iowa and implemented in local Iowa City bars.  After researching similar programs a new program was crafted to use locally in the Cedar Valley.

According to BJS.gov, the Midwest region has the highest rate of sexual assaults in the nation.   With stats like these, the current momentum around the #MeToo movement, and the passion of Presidential Scholars to help resolve problems affecting the community it is no wonder a group of this year’s scholars would take on the challenge of implementing this bystander training.

Before winter break the UNI Presidential Scholars Think Tank Safety Group composed of six sophomores presented their project and plans to the College Hill Partnership.  The Board of Directors voted to put their full support behind the project and the student’s efforts.  The CHP Board of directors was impressed by the research and professional presentation the students gave at their December board meeting.

These six college students told the Partnership they wanted a safety-focused project.  Much of their preliminary efforts have been collecting statistics regarding assaults on campus and identifying what factors (such as alcohol) play into these assaults.  The group obtained Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Training over winter break and will have further training over the 2019 Spring semester.  They have also developed a partnership with the NISG to ensure the project’s longevity.  Because of the close proximity to the University and its popular nightlife establishments, the group felt College Hill would be a great place to test their new bystander training program.  Several bars have already signed on for the training.  College Hill bars include Little Bigs, Social House, and The Other Place on the Hill.

When we asked the students what their hope for the project was here is what they said:

“Our main hope for the project is to decrease the number of sexual assaults that happen at UNI.  We hope by providing the bar employees with necessary tools to potentially intervene in a situation that these numbers will decrease.  The group also hopes that training will continue over the following years as there is a high turnover among bar employees.”

The College Hill Partnership is excited to have a group of passionate students chose to start to implementation of their project on the Hill.  We want to thank the following students for their presentation to our organization and their hard work on this training.

Grace Brady (Elementary and Middle-Level Education Major from West Des Moines, Iowa)

Anne Gradoville (Communication Sciences and Disorders Major from Des Moines, Iowa)

Laura Kaufmann (Accounting and Organizational Leadership Major from Harlan, Iowa)

Triet Ngo (Marketing Management Major from Hanoi, Vietnam)

Carter Stochl (Biology and Biochemistry Major from New Hampton, Iowa)

Jordan Weber (Family Services Major from Wadena, Iowa)


Please contact the CHP Executive Director if you are interested in learning more or having your business host training. Graphics courtesy of UNI Presidential Scholars THINK TANK Safety Group.

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