January 27, 2020

Contact: Diego Abeloos


With Us Center Launches Annual National College Student Bystander Intervention Study

Cal Poly-based research center expands enrollment to universities nationwide

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The WITH US Center for Bystander Intervention has opened enrollment for its annual National College Student Bystander Intervention Study. Universities throughout the U.S. can learn more and sign up for the study through Feb. 28 at:

The study seeks to gain a clearer understanding of why students fail to act in bystander situations that warrant intervention, and with this information, develop evidence- and context-based programs that educate and empower students. To that end, the study specifically focuses on student perceptions, experiences and bystander intervention actions around:

“We see news stories every year of students who have been harmed ­or died as the result of tragedies that were entirely preventable, if only someone had stepped in and taken action on their behalf,” said Michael Eberhard, assistant director of With Us. “The ultimate goal of this study is to provide the knowledge needed to help prevent future harm and save student lives.” 

In 2019, the Cal Poly-based organization’s pilot study partnered with eight California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) campuses. All told, the study included a sample of 36,000 undergraduate student participates and had a cumulative response rate of 10.1%.A complete aggregate report of the study can be viewed here.

“Having data like this helps me to better understand our student culture and to make effective proposals for additional university resources to support students,” said Keith Humphrey, Cal Poly vice president for Student Affairs. “It also provides a base of information to use in tracking progress and impact over time.”

This year, With Us seeks to expand its study and partner with up to 60 public and private universities nationwide. The cost to participate in the 2020 study is $2,500 per university.

In turn, each partner university will receive a turnkey survey implementation package and individualized marketing and assessment support from With Us to ensure success. At the conclusion of the study later this spring, participating universities will receive a detailed report with campus-specific data utilized to establish baselines for bystander behaviors and experiences, track year-by-year progress, and measure their campus against aggregate data collected from other participating institutions. All student responses are anonymous to ensure a high level of confidentiality.

About With Us

Scott and Julia Starkey founded Aware Awake Alive in 2011 and donated the program to Cal Poly in 2017 to broaden its mission and allow it to evolve into a university-based research center. In turn, With Us - The National Network for Peer Accountability (now the With Us Center for Bystander Intervention) was launched in February 2018 as an intervention research center with the mission to prevent harm and lives lost to hazing, alcohol and drug abuse, sexualassault, hate and bias, and other barriers to student health, safety and success. With Us is housed within Cal Poly Student Affairs and is led by a team of experienced researchers, prevention practitioners, and student affairs leaders. For more information, visit

About Cal Poly Student Affairs

Student Affairs supports student success through the Cal Poly experience by promoting Learn by Doing opportunities, delivering student-centered programs, encouraging personal growth, and empowering students to live within a safe, healthy, inclusive and supportive environment. For more information, visit

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Posted on:
January 27, 2020

Written by:
Diego Abeloos

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