University of Southern Indiana

Bystander Intervention and Civility


5 Steps to Bystander Intervention

1. Notice the Event

If something doesn't seem right, take a moment to think about the situation.

2. Interpret the Situation as a Problem or Emergency

If you think something may be wrong, go ahead and think about the situation as a problem or emergency. 

3. Assume Responsibility

Don't assume someone else will do something. Others are likely making the same assumption which will result in nobody doing anything!

4. Know How to Help

It may be that you need to step in or you may need to call for help. Know what resources are available to you and your fellow peers and colleagues.

Campus Resources:

USI Counseling Center 812-464-1867
Dean of Students Office 812-464-1892
Disability Resources 812-464-1961
USI Public Safety 812-462-7777
University Health Center 812-465-1250
Veteran Support Services 812-464-1857

5. Implement the Help

Take action. Step into the situation only if you can do so dafely. Call for help if you think someone else needs to intervene.

*In any emergency you can call USI Public Safety at 812-492-7777.

Practicing Civility

On the most basic level civility is the act of being civil to all members of the human race, regardless of any personal definable characteristics. For one to be civil, it takes a conscious effort to be aware of differences and show respect in all interactions with others. Whether it is your roommates, a professor, classmates, or a University staff member, it is expected that you always communicate in a civil manner. Practicing civility requires thoughtful behavior and continuous refinement of our perceptions of what matters to us and to others. Such expectations are described in the USI Creed.

Civility vs. Incivility
  • Asking your roommate if you two can talk about a conflict
  • Posting nasty comments on social media about your roommate
  • Listening to your someone share their side of the story
  • Getting defensive and interrupting someone
  • Confronting someone calmly and in a private area
  • Yelling at thme in the middle of the University Center
  • Choosing not to talk bad about your roommate to all your friends and talking to your RA instead
  • Convincing your friends that your roommate is a horrible person
  • Acknowledging what you signed on the roommate agreement and asking to revisit it if you feel it will help
  • Not taking the roommate agreement seriously or ignoring the roommate agreement you signed
  • Acknowledging that others have their own side of the story, their own feelings, and their own desires for a resolution
  • Speaking down to others or speaking in a condescending tone
  • Understanding that communication is a two-way street. It will take effort from both sides to resolve a conflict
  • Holding the attitude that the other is the only one to blame and that you have done absolutely nothing wrong

Contact Web Services


Send Email to