The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Office of Institutional Equity Division of Operations

UTRGV Superhero Project

Project Goals

The Mission Super Hero Project is a university-wide initiative to promote the idea that individual Vaqueros have the power to prevent high-risk behavior and harm. The Super Hero Project builds on the existing expertise of campus centers and departments at UTRGV and unifies these with consistent messaging and content. This means that

while the issue or type of harm may vary in context, the promotion of intervention, the action steps, potential barriers and many resources will be consistent across issue areas. Our hope is that the reinforcement of bystander intervention by campus partners will increase the odds of a UTRGV student intervening to prevent harm as well as create a culture of caring for each other's well-being.

The Super Hero Project goals

To change the social norm on camps and teach students to overcome their resistance to diffusion of responsibility and help student recognizes situations so they take action.

To build a cohesive environment for our students which will enhancing interpersonal skills so our students will intervene in critical moments.

UTRGV Active Bystander Intervention Initiative Partners

Our aim is to create a shared understanding of bystander intervention that can be infused into existing departments and programs across the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley:

  • Office of Institutional Equity
  • Student Rights and Responsibilities
  • Vice President of Student Success
  • Counseling Center
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Student Health Services
  • UTRGV Police Department (UTRGV PD)
  • Residential life
  • Dean of Students (DOS)
  • Student life
  • Student Accessibility Services
  • Military and Veterans Success Center

Your Role in Preventing Sexual Assault

The only person responsible for committing sexual assault is a perpetrator, but all of us have the ability to look out for each other’s safety. Whether it’s giving someone a safe ride home from a party or directly confronting a person who is engaging in threatening behavior, anyone can help prevent sexual violence. It’s important to recognize the role bystanders can play in preventing crimes like sexual assault.

What can I do to prevent sexual assault? You may have heard the term “bystander intervention” to describe a situation where someone who isn’t directly involved steps in to change the outcome. Stepping in may give the person you’re concerned about a chance to get to a safe place or leave the situation. You don’t have to be a hero or even stand out from the crowd to make a big difference in someone’s life. Take steps to protect someone who may be at risk in a way that fits your comfort level.

Whether you’re taking home a friend who has had too much to drink, explaining that a rape joke isn’t funny, or getting security involved when someone is behaving aggressively, choosing to step in can impact the way those around you think about and respond to sexual violence.

Why don’t people help more often? It’s not always easy to step in, even if you know it’s the right thing to do. Some common reasons bystanders remain on the sidelines include:

  • “I don’t know what to do or what to say.”
  • “I don’t want to cause a scene.”
  • “It’s not my business.”
  • “I don’t want my friend to be mad at me.”
  • “I’m sure someone else will step in.”

It’s okay to have these thoughts, but it’s important to realize that your actions can have a big impact. In many situations, bystanders have the opportunity to prevent crimes like sexual assault from happening in the first place.

Your actions matter

Whether or not you were able to change the outcome of the situation, by stepping in you are helping change the way people think about their roles in preventing sexual violence.

If you suspect that someone you know has been sexually assaulted, there are steps you can take to support that person.

UTRGV Super Hero Project: http://www.utrgv.edu/srr/superhero-project/index.htm

Need more information on this project? Contact:

Student Rights & Responsibilities

Edinburg Office: EUCTR 315

Phone: 956-665-5375

Email: srr@utrgv.edu