Real Pokes Step UP!

University of Wyoming student-athletes and staff are pledging to “Step UP!” through an innovative bystander intervention program that educates individuals to be proactive in helping others.  Real Pokes Step UP! is an initiative being introduced through the AWARE program on the UW campus ( to train individuals to have the confidence to help others.

Several staff members on the University of Wyoming campus, including individuals in the athletics department, have been trained as facilitators to teach others about the Step UP! program.  

UW Athletics began its participation in the program this past summer when its freshmen student-athletes participated in the training.  Trainings for other student-athletes will continue throughout the year.  

To highlight the Real Pokes Step UP! program a video featuring UW President Laurie Nichols, Athletics Director Tom Burman, over 20 Cowboy and Cowgirl student-athletes and numerous coaches and staff are featured pledging their commitment to Step UP! 

The goals of Step UP! are to:

•    Raise awareness of helping behaviors
•    Increase motivation to help
•    Develop skills and confidence when responding to problems or concerns
•    Ensure the safety and well-being of self and others

There are five decision-making steps that are taught to aid individuals in learning how to intervene in a situation.  Those five steps are: 

1.   Notice the event.
2.   Interpret the event as a problem -- investigate!
3.   Take personal responsibility.
4.   Know how to help.
5.   Implement the help, Step UP!

The University of Arizona C.A.T.S. Life Skills Program, along with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and national leading experts, have developed the Step UP! Be a Leader, Make a Difference program.  Teaching people about the determinants of prosocial behavior makes them more aware of why they sometimes don’t help. As a result they are more likely to help in the future.
Step UP! received a Gold award from the NASPA, the national organization of Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education, and recently was identified as a “Best Practice” by the NCAA Sports Science Institute of national and international scholars.