Bystander Intervention

At Northwestern University, the health, safety, and welfare of our students and community are paramount concerns. As such, all Northwestern students are expected to intervene or interrupt harmful behavior or speech that you witness.

Examples of bystander intervention

Reporting incidents that violate the Student Code of Conduct

Northwestern students are expected to alert appropriate officials in the event of any health or safety emergency – specifically including those involving the abuse of alcohol or drugs – even if violations of the Student Code of Conduct may have occurred in connection with such an emergency.

Because fear of possible disciplinary actions may deter requests for emergency assistance, the University has adopted the following Responsible Action Protocol (RAP) to alleviate student concerns and promote responsible actions.

In a situation involving imminent threat or danger to the health or safety of any individual(s), students are generally expected:

  1. To contact emergency officials by calling 911 to report the incident
  2. To remain with the individual(s) needing emergency treatment and cooperate with emergency officials, so long as it is safe to do so
  3. To meet with appropriate University officials after the incident and cooperate with any University investigation

The University will consider the positive impact of taking responsible action in an emergency situation when determining the appropriate response for alleged policy violations that may have occurred by the reporting student prior to or contemporaneously with the emergency situation.

For more information about the Responsible Action Protocol, please see the following:

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