New word adopted as part of Campus Sexual Assault Prevention
Students at Highlands College and Montana Tech have adopted a new word as part of the ongoing effort to prevent campus sexual assault or other types of victimization. The new word is “FRONTSTANDER”. The origin of the word comes from the well-known “Bystander Awareness” efforts which attempt to help students understand that if they are “bystanders” witnessing a friend in a compromising or dangerous sexual situation, they should step forward and intervene. Thus, they should be a FRONTSTANDER.
“We need to do more than merely raise the awareness of our students about sexual assault,” said Highlands Counselor, Cricket Pietsch. “We are encouraging them to be proactive in protecting each other and preventing sexual assault as well as all other types of victimization. My hope is that this new word, FRONTSTANDER, will gain traction on the internet and in the social networking worlds and motivate our students to act.”
The word FRONTSTANDER, as it applies to sexual assault prevention, was coined by Ms. Pietsch and Dr. John M. Garic, Dean of Highlands College. For the moment, the FRONTSTANDER effort is unique to Montana Tech and Highlands College. At the beginning of the academic year in August, Tech’s Student Affairs Office handed out wrist bands and created t-shirts with the word “FRONTSTANDER” on them. Time will tell if the FRONSTANDER moniker becomes part of the lexicon of college and university life.
“Colleges and universities are struggling to balance the significant needs of victims of sexual assault while at the same time assuring the due process rights of those accused,” said Dr. Garic. “The more FRONTSTANDER work we can do to prevent victimization of all sorts will hopefully help reduce the number of victims and alleged perpetrators.”
For any further information about this issue or any issue pertaining to Montana Tech or Highlands College, please contact Amanda Badovinac at 406-496-4828 or Dr. John M. Garic at 406-496-3714.