Hello, my name is Erin and I’m a new Marketing Attendant in the department of Recreation and Wellness. I’ve been lucky enough to be assigned to the new Step Up – Step In program, and I get to work with it throughout the year. I know a lot of folks have seen the spiffy t-shirts around campus, but most people I’ve talked to aren’t 100% sure what the whole program is about. Fortunately, I’m here to talk about it!
This program is an initiative funded by the Ohio Department of Education specifically for BGSU to combat sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and sexual harassment. Step Up – Step In is different from some other programs around campus because it’s aimed specifically at bystanders, those not actively involved in these situations. The point is to tell people that it’s more than okay to step up and say something if they see something that doesn’t look right, or they think someone may be in danger. So far we’ve been promoting this program by handing out a LOT of t-shirts, putting up different installations around campus, and creating a social media campaign for the cause using #StepUpStepIn.
Before the school year started, the Department of Recreation and Wellness was already busy promoting this program. It can be seen in the many installations around campus, including the wall clings over the light switches in every single residence hall on campus, as well as in the Greek Houses. The clings are small, but omnipresent. The big project from over the summer was the Bowen Thompson Student Union central staircase. If you get a chance, definitely take a picture with the logo where all the steps line up to form the Step Up – Step In logo! The installations won’t stop with these either. There are several other installations, like sidewalk clings in the Greek Village, and soon there will be a really neat mural in the Student Recreation Center.
Late Night at the Perry Field House is a super fun tradition at BGSU, and a really great bonding experience for first year students. This yearRecreation and Wellness decided that the event would be a great place to showcase some brand new t-shirts! We handed out about 750 t-shirts to students at Late Night, and I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve definitely seen them around campus. This isn’t the first batch of t-shirts Recreation and Wellness has handed out though. Last year a total of around 2000 t-shirts were handed out! That definitely helped to get the word out around campus.
Our most recent event was Campus Fest this past Thursday. I had a great time handing out 200 more Step Up – Step In t-shirts and talking with my fellow students about preventing sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and sexual harassment. I was pleasantly surprised when even after I ran out of t-shirts, people kept coming to the table and expressing interest in the program. It was a great time and I loved getting to talk about a topic I’m so passionate about! Even if you didn’t get a free t-shirt at some point, if you’re interested in the program, definitely follow @BGItsOnUs on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to receive information about upcoming events and keeping your fellow Falcons safe!
Recreation and Wellness has done a lot with this program so far and I can’t wait to see what else will happen! I know for sure everyone can look forward to seeing some Step Up – Step In representation at different BGSU athletic events. We’re also teaming up with BG’s chapter of It’s On Us and Not in Our Town to bring the message to as many students as possible. I’m very excited about this program and I absolutely cannot wait to see the effect Step Up – Step In has on our campus.