On Bystander Intervention, Community Standards and Yik Yak

I have a blog, so I’m required by law to say something about the YikYak controversy swirling around the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) National Convention.

We teach our students to model bystander intervention. It’s a key component of Title IX training and paramount to student leadership and conflict management. We teach bystander intervention may cause you to lose friends. It’s hard to speak out. You’ll be called out for being sanctimonious and holier than thou. Others won’t understand why you ratted them out. You may find yourself shunned by certain circles of “friends.”



When comments like this were seen on yik yak, other administrators modeled the way and called out the behavior.They shared what they felt were community norms and shared community values. Administrators monitored their own community. They are and were demonstrating they very bystander intervention behaviors we claim to teach.

Sure, there are plenty of people who are screaming “moral high horse” and accusing people of being “sanctimonious.” But isn’t this what we’ve trained our students for? Isn’t this exactly what we said would happen?

Isn’t this exactly what we want?

On Bystander Intervention, Community Standards and Yik Yak