It's Our Community, Our Responsibility

Posted on 14 November 2016

Keele and Staffordshire Universities have come together to promote an initiative to tackle anti social behaviour, bullying and harassment at University.

The Active Bystanders campaign asks members of Keele and Staffordshire University communities to take positive, affirmative action when they hear or see things that are wrong - whether that be discrimination, or disrespectful and/or inappropriate behaviours.

“If you see something, say something, do something”

This simple but powerful message is what the Universities and Students’ Unions are asking members of their communities to do as part of a new initiative called #NeverStandby.

The initiative is part of a wider commitment between the two Universities and Students’ Unions to tackle serious societal issues that are experienced in University communities, with significant work being undertaken to develop services and support in relation to bullying and harassment, hate crime and sexual violence.

Ian Munton, Head of Student Services at Keele University believes that such initiatives can help forge a strong sense of community:

“We want that strong sense of community to continue, and we know that initiatives such as this can really help influence the way we think and act and raise the confidence in those who may feel marginalised or discriminated against. By coming together and committing ourselves to the principles and values of the #NeverStandby initiative we can all collectively influence how we treat one another. By doing so we prevent lasting and damaging harm to those around us.”

Natalie Jordan, Elected Officer for Welfare and Internationalisation at Keele Students’ Union explains that “We want members of our community to really buy into this; this should in time simply be something that we do and that we take for granted. So, we are asking students and staff to take a pledge to become an active bystander - we’re asking that they commit to three things - these are to

  • Step in and give help (if it’s safe), or step out and get help (if it’s unsafe)
  • Empower those close to them to Step Up!
  • Do whatever they can do to create and maintain a safe and supportive University community

We are really excited to see the impact that this work has in contributing to the positive community and campus experience that is enjoyed here at Keele.”
The project team has set up a pledge website where students, staff and members of the community to pledge their support for the campaign, by signing a pledge to #NeverStandby.
Jaime-Lee Cunningham, President of Staffordshire University Students’ Union, said: “The #NeverStandby initiative has our full support and complements work we have already done on and off campus with our Be Safe campaign. For such an important topic it is great to see cooperation from all involved. We have a fantastic student community here at Staffs and so we will do all we can to make it a pleasant and discrimination-free environment.”

Janine Holdway, Head of Student Services at Staffordshire University believes that it is essential that both Universities work together on such initiatives to further develop a strong sense of community:

“We know that our students are living side by side in residencies off campus and it is essential that students feel that both Universities have the same sense of value – working together on these initiatives really helps to influence the way both staff and students think and act and will give people confidence to speak up for those who feel discriminated against. We are committing ourselves to the #NeverStandby initiative so that we can all influence how we all treat one another.”

For more information about the initiative, and to sign the pledge, go to


Video shows members of staff and students from both universities talking about the #NeverStandby initiative