Ducks are not ostriches.
That’s the message from a new video that made its debut during the homecoming football game at Autzen Stadium last weekend. The short film, “Ducks Do Something,” has a simple message — Ducks don’t bury their heads in the sand when others are at risk.
It’s one part of the UO’s bystander intervention campaign, and it draws on one of the most promising forces the university has for addressing sexual misconduct and intolerance: a student body that is both informed and empowered. Made by and for students, the video sends the message that when Ducks see something that’s wrong, they will step in.
The video is the newest resource in the university’s effort to reinforce its standards and expectations for students in the wake on a nationwide focus on preventing sexual assault and misconduct. Officials say such peer-to-peer initiatives are an important tool in changing attitudes and engaging students on a wide range of issues.
Many other projects and activities are planned to follow up on and expand on bystander intervention training and programming. The video will be used in organized discussions about bystander intervention with a variety of student groups over the next academic year.
“This video is just one piece of a much larger plan to expand our bystander intervention efforts,” said Robin Holmes, vice president for student life. “While we are definitely dedicating time and resources to the problem of sexual assault, bystander intervention is also a way to help address misuse of alcohol and other drugs, potential suicides and situations of racism, sexism, homophobia and other biases.”
“Ducks Do Something” was a collaboration among an array of student leaders and includes activists, survivors, student athletes and sorority and fraternity leaders. Participants were majors in psychology, economics, journalism, chemistry, conflict resolution, business and more.
“It was amazing to work with these student leaders” said Rita Radostitz, director of strategic communications for the Division of Student Life. “Each of the students who participated did so voluntarily — and enthusiastically.”
Faculty and students in the School of Journalism and Communications lent their expertise to the project, and the athletics department videography team provided filming, editing and production services. The project was managed through the Division of Student Life.
In the coming months, the video will be rolled out to a wider audience through both campus outlets and web and social media avenues. The video campaign is part of the UO's participation in the "It's On Us" initiative being coordinated by the White House.
—By Greg Bolt, Public Affairs Communications