Lifestyles promotes bystander intervention

The Lifestyles Center simulated a party scene with water, ice tea and apple juice during the production of the new video.  (Photo provided by the Lifestyles Center)
The Lifestyles Center simulated a party scene with water, ice tea and apple juice during the production of the new video.
(Photo provided by the Lifestyles Center)

The Lifestyles Center is partnering with a full-service advertising company in order to produce an Oswego State bystander intervention video with the hope of getting a strong message across.
The message of this video is inspired by another video produced in New Zealand tagged on YouTube as “Who are you?” It takes the viewer to a party scene where a young man and woman are seemingly flirting. The scene quickly devolves into what appears to be a sexual assault scenario. Then it is paused and rewound to show all the people that could have stopped and intervened.

“[The video] shows how one person saying one thing could have intervened and made a huge difference,” said Shelly Sloan, health promotional coordinator and facilitator of the project.According to Sloan, she discovered the New Zealand video two years ago and thought it was a powerful way to get the message across. After going to a conference in Orlando, Sloan saw that a lot of other schools were remaking the video.

“I guess it never crossed my mind before that we can remake this video,” Sloan said.Sloan immediately contacted her friend and Oswego State 2004 alumna Jamie Leszczynski. Leszczynski is the senior account manager for ABC Creative Group, a Syracuse-based advertising agency. She agreed to work on the project as a director and overall manager.

“I was super excited to come back to campus and help,” Leszczynski said. “Once we understood the project more, we all became very excited. We love working on cause–related projects and creating something that will get a movement or get reactions. So this is right up our alley.”

ABC Creative Group’s Scott Kraushaar, director of video production and Sean Faulkner, account executive, are working alongside Sloan and Leszczynski to re-create an Oswego State oriented bystander intervention video.

According to Sloan the goal of remaking the video is to make it more relevant to Oswego State students. The original video is filmed in New Zealand and uses different language like “flatmate” instead of “roommate.” The Oswego State video was filmed in The Village with students acting in the video to make it more recognizable to campus. Sloan said they wanted students to recognize the faces in the video, hoping that it would have more of an impact.

The original video is about eight minutes long, but Oswego State’s version is expected to be no longer than about three minutes.Filming took place in Village House H5 on Tuesday. They started and finished filming within the day, working from approximately 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Although it doesn’t have a set release date, it is expected to be ready to view in the next few weeks. Sloan originally wanted to start filming during August, but there was a lack of student volunteers to act in it so shooting was held off until now.

Sloan chose not to share the specific cost of the project, but did mention it was reasonable and within budget.Sloan said she contacted different departments for volunteers to act in the video, such as the theater department and the student affairs staff, but finding volunteers was still difficult.

“I had some students sign up and not show, I had some students that decided to help out because friends were calling in,” Sloan said. “We’ve done pretty well with what we have. The students are amazing and awesome to work with. I couldn’t have asked for a better team.”

Sloan plans to use the video for presentations, trainings, orientations and on the Lifestyle Center webpage for all students to view.“A lot of students who I have talked to during bystander intervention training say ‘I don’t know how to intervene,’ ‘I don’t know what to do’ or ‘It is not my business,’ so hopefully this is going to be a way to teach them that anyone can intervene,” Sloan said. “We want to empower our students to be able to do something. Letting students know that it doesn’t take a whole lot, it just takes a sentence or one person saying ‘Hey, are you okay?’ to really do something. It doesn’t have to be difficult.”

Senior Tyler Yastrub, who was an extra in the video, said he thinks it is important for the final video to get proper circulation.

“People need to see it to get the message out and it is definitely good to spread awareness,” Yastrub said. “People should speak up and if they know something is wrong.”Upcoming bystander intervention training sessions are Oct. 16 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Nov. 2 from 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. in the Marano Campus Center Room 114. Students can email Sloan with any questions or to secure a spot.

“Stand up and speak out when you see something that can be potentially harmful, hurtful or dangerous,” Sloan said. “We want to give students courage. We want students to have the self-confidence to be that person to stand up and say something. Don’t assume that someone else has intervened. Be that person. Tell yourself you are going to be that person and then take action and do something about it… I hope students will look at the video and learn from it.”