It's Up to Me

Appalachian State University's promotional video for the "It's Up to Me" safety and bystander awareness campaign. A list of resources is available at Text APPCARES to 50555 with your smartphone for easy mobile bookmarking of these resources. On this site, you can also find information and updates about matters of student health and safety. If you are concerned about the well-being of someone in your campus community, if you are observing behaviors that make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, you don't need to have the answers. This page gives you resources and contacts to help.

This video won a Platinum MarCom Award in 2012.


(Music playing and people walking behind a white screen)

Jamar Banks: I attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and I went to school on a basketball scholarship. So a friend of mine and I were just hanging out and we went over to one of the other player's house. Our buddy was in a relationship with this young woman and she also came over. And then my roommate and I decided to leave. So as we were leaving and going back to our rooms, as we looked up through the window, because the window was open, and we saw our buddy and his girlfriend and he grabbed her. He had her in the air. He was choking her. Then he struck her. As a result, we jumped in the car and left because we were just so stunned.

Cynthia Wood: I'm an RA and once I had a resident that didn't appear to be fitting in very well. One day she was sick and I had a conversation with her about why she was sick and it turned out that she had tried to commit suicide. She wasn't very happy at App and her family home wasn't happy either. I encouraged her to go to the counseling center. She didn't really want to do that and so I encouraged her to keep a journal. Through rereading these journals she found that most of the situations she had been in weren't right for her and that these situations were perpetuated by the friends she had made here. And so we had the discussion, maybe you need new friends. And she decided that it was going to be a hard journey, but it was going to be her journey.

Erin Johnston: My friend and I were followed home and when we got out of the car, we had a male run up on us and attack us. He attacked my friend first, punched her. He hit me and then I fell to the ground and he repeatedly kicked me. I remembered wondering when it was gonna stop, when it was gonna end. And the question that constantly ran through my head was "why?" The next thing I know my friends were running towards me, I could hear their feet coming towards me and that's when he stopped. They told me that if he had kept going for not even a minute longer that I could have died. We were taken to the hospital, treated with a lot of injuries, but the emotional and mental injuries is what really stuck with us.

Jamar: At that time, I must admit I just was frozen because this was someone that I respected, an older student, an athlete. And it can be debilitating. In this case it was. While I felt like there was kind of a natural obligation for me to defend the young&bbsp;lady, I also felt an allegiance and alliance to my friend and someone who I looked up to. Had I to do it over again, I would make a different decision.

Cynthia: If you have a gut feeling that something may be wrong with a friend or family member, most of the time it could be true. And so you do need to ask about what they are going through. It may take more than one conversation and you may have to ask some hard questions, but you need to get to the root of the problem. Act on it. It could be too late if you wait on it.

Erin: There was a bystander in a near-by car, picked up the phone immediately and called the police. And she said she was terrified, but she sat there and watched. Which was amazing and incredible and horrifying at the same time, but she had the courage to get involved in it. And to this day I can't begin to thank her enough its more, it's up and beyond anything that I or my friend could have asked for in our time of need and help.

Cynthia: Your friend may not react the way that you think that they will because they may be angry with you that you are trying to get them help. But, if they truly are your friend and you're offering this help to them. In the long run, they are going to be thankful.

Jamar: One advice I give to students is be yourself. Be comfortable within your own skin. Be empowered by those who want to empower you. To connect with people who are not afraid to have courage to make some very tough decisions.

Erin: No matter what you see. No matter what you hear. Do something, tell something. It's not hard to pick up a phone and call somebody. Even if you think you are making something out of nothing you never know. Even if you are standing by and you think someone else will call, someone else can do it, it's not my place, it's not me. It is your place. A simple phone call will change a life. The witness who saw my assault, her phone call changed my life, it saved my life. On this campus I absolutely feel safe. Around all these people who stood up for me, I hold my head high and walk around knowing that I am who I am and it's okay and people here love me. It just…safety is an understatement for how I feel on campus now.

(It's Up To Me, comes on screen.)