BeVocal, the Bystander Intervention Initiative of The University of Texas at Austin, is a university-wide initiative to promote the idea that individual Longhorns have the power to prevent high-risk behavior and harm. Bystander intervention using the BeVocal model, Recognize, Choose, and Act, empowers Longhorns to interrupt and prevent hazing.
Hazing is any intentional, knowing, or reckless act occurring on or off campus that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of joining or maintaining membership in an organization. Ask yourself these questions:
- Could this activity endanger the mental, physical health or safety of a student?
- Is the organization expecting or encouraging students to participate in the activity in order to join or maintain membership?
- Are members intimidating or harassing others?
- Are all members in the group participating equally in the activity?
- Am I being asked to keep these activities secret?
Choose to Respond
Choose to say or do something to interrupt hazing. Whether it is intimidating, harassing, or violent hazing activity, it is a problem. UT’s hazing policy requires any person with knowledge of hazing to report it. Before intervening, weigh your options, personal safety and decide how you can take action.
- If there is immediate danger for yourself or others, call 911.
- Confront the person or group directly by saying, “I’m uncomfortable with what is happening”.
- Ask other members to help you intervene in the moment.
- Reach out to a mentor or trusted advisor for support.
- Make a report. There are many options for reporting including anonymously. Report to the Office of the Dean of Students at deanofstudents.utexas.edu or to the Behavior Concerns = Advice Line at 512-232-5050 or online at https://safety.utexas.edu/bccal.
- Seek support. Reach out to a colleague, peer, or trusted advisor. Utilize resources like the Counseling and Mental Health Center.
- Educate yourself and revise your current student organization practices and activities.
- Evaluate membership – members who continue a culture of hazing should not be members of your organization.