Stand Up Geneseo launches new website with resources for students

Stand Up, Geneseo's positive student conduct initiative, introduced its new website on Monday. The site provides students with information and support regarding campus issues related to student welfare.

The content featured on the site was developed by a steering committee of campus administrators and students and addresses sexual assault awareness, harassment prevention, hazing prevention, mental health and suicide prevention, bias-related incidents and alcohol and drug use. Students can use the site to submit reports of misconduct to University Police and to Tamara Kenney, assistant dean of students for student conduct. Additionally, students can submit reports of positive encounters if they witness a student standing up for someone else.

Kenney and Lauren Taraska, coordinator of student organizations and campus activities, co-chaired the steering committee for the website. They developed the idea in the summer of 2010 during the Hazing Institute – a program held at Geneseo that teaches interdisciplinary participants how to handle hazing on college campuses.

"We talked about the need to take the information from the Hazing Institute and put it into a vehicle that could be shared more easily with the campus community," Taraska said. "Not just for the Greeks, but that we needed to have a cross-section of information to all students."

The steering committee included administrators from a variety of campus departments and juniors MaryBeth Ryder and Ravina Chawla from the student-run organization Geneseo Health Guards.

"We thought that [the chosen members of the committee] would, at least from the health perspective, bring the most to the table on that," Taraska said.

In addition to information and links related to campus issues, the website features videos of Geneseo students and administrators speaking about the Stand Up initiative and encouraging students to stand up for others in the campus community.

"Tamara and I sat down and came up with some names of students or student leaders who we thought would be a good selection to have in the different videos," Taraska said.

Ultimately, Taraska and Kenney chose students and administrators who they felt best represent different major organizations across campus.

The website was designed by Kristen Fuest, Student Association graphics coordinator, in conjunction with Laura Kenyon of College Communications, Taraska and members of the Department of Computing & Information Technology. Fuest designed the website to be engaging and interactive and to enhance users' ability to find information quickly.

Taraska is hoping the website will encourage students to take action in supporting other members of the campus community.

"I think it's really about empowering the students to stand up for each other, and although we ask them to do that, I think it's really about giving them the necessary tools and resources that make them comfortable for standing up for a friend," she said.

Funding for the site was provided by the College Union & Activities, the Center for Community, Student Conduct & Campus Standards and the Division of Student and Campus Life.