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Click Three Times, Red Shoes Raise Awareness

University of Utah
Red shoes are getting students to talk about bystander awareness

Marty Liccardo is the health educator for the Center for Student Wellness program at the University of Utah.

“The program itself is called, ‘Step in, Speak up,’” Liccardo said. “And that means, step in when you see any kind of harm happening on campus or if you see any harm on campus and you’re unable to step in, speak up, say something.”

Students and faculty are seeing red shoes placed all over the campus to encourage them to talk about the issue.

“Often times we’ll assume somebody else is going to help,” Liccardo said. “Or [we] feel kind of paralyzed because they don’t have any way to help themselves.”

Jessica Ulloa is a junior at the Univeresity of Utah.

“I just can’t believe that if I were in that situation that I wouldn’t do anything,” Ulloa said.

Though she has seen the shoes around campus, she isn’t clear about what is going on.

“It’s great that they’re putting shoes around and trying to bring awareness to this,” Ulloa said. “But I don’t really hear anyone talking about it.”

Liccardo said they want to encourage students to get actively involved in keeping themselves and each other safe, happy and healthy and are training them on how to assess whether or not they should step in or find someone else to help.

“Often times if you see something related to maybe a couple fighting in a parking lot,” Liccardo said. “Or two students at a party and one of them has had too much to drink, what do you do in those situations?”

He said there are many things students can do including finding someone like a police officer or campus staff person.

They’ve trained 12 people so far.