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Exe-Change the Norm

Exe-Change the Norm

Exe-Change the Norm

Want to step-in when something feels wrong? Seen someone being mistreated, but don’t know how to help? We’re offering special bystander training, which will help you intervene in situations, in a way which can create a positive outcome.

Exe-Change the Norm’ is FREE and available to all our students, across all campuses. The four training sessions cover topics including sexism and sexual harassment, partner abuse, racism and racist micro-aggressions. You’ll learn how to effectively step-in to help, if you see these sorts of behaviours occur.

Developed by our own academic, Dr. Rachel Fenton, as well as Dr. Nate Eisenstadt, we create an open environment during the training, which celebrates each individual, allowing for non-judgmental practice of bystander intervention.

This programme is part of the University’s commitment to creating an inclusive environment for all our community.

Aim and Objectives:

The aim of the programme is to introduce and embed understanding and application of Bystander Leadership for an inclusive University.

The sessions will deliver the following learning objectives:

  • Define who is a bystander
  • Recognise reasons for non-intervention
  • Identify the four stages of intervention
  • Recognise the differences around gender and sexual harassment/assault and domestic violence  
  • Define the link between sexual harassment myths and real-life incidents 
  • Define the meaning of consent and what constitutes sexual assault 
  • Identify some of the signs of an abusive relationship 
  • Recognise the cultural drivers behind sexual and domestic violence 

If you want to understand more about sexual violence and who to speak to then please visit this page: Sexual violence

  • Recognise and define racist microaggressions and identify methods of positive intervention
  • Identify examples of things that people from minority ethnic groups might do to avoid discrimination or racism
  • Define systematic discrimination and the link between the bottom and the top of the pyramid. 

If you want to report a racist incident you can do that here: Speak Out

  • Identify strategies and approaches allowing for early intervention in gender or racial inequality  
  • Recognise how to contribute positively to a situation where wrongdoing is happening 
  • Signpost effectively to the correct service for support or complaints 
  • Identify and practise techniques of getting peers involved and supporting without putting yourself at harm or risk 

How is the programme structured?

ETN Structure

The programme consists of the four topics above, each delivered within a 2-hour, face to face session to a maximum of 20 participants. The content has been separated in this way to best support effective peer to peer conversation and learning. These four sessions will be delivered on a rolling basis throughout the year to allow students to attend the different topics at a time that suits them best as part of their personal development options. 

Although there is no fixed order in which students must attend; completing Session 1 first, and Session 4 last will best facilitate learning. However, it does not matter which order students attend Sessions 2 and 3.  

How can I book on to the training?

You can book on all sessions via Handshake and search for ‘bystander training’.

If you are currently a PGR Student, then you can currently book on to training through InkPath: or by emailing

What does the Bystander programme count towards?

Apart from the all-important new skills, knowledge and behaviours – The Bystander Leadership programme can count towards the Exeter award as well as the Guild Award and the AU award. One of the Bystander sessions can be used as the personal development session for these awards.

Additionally, if you attend all four sessions, you will have completed the bystander journey as shown on Handshake. This will enable you to attach an endorsed bystander award to your LinkedIn profile.

We know that Bystander training is one of the most effective ways to empower students and staff to address and prevent harassment on and off campus. Through the ‘Exe-change the norm’ Bystander training programme at Exeter ​we aim to empower all our students to become active bystanders. Providing them with knowledge and skills to safely intervene and positively change behaviours to help create a safe and inclusive environment across our campuses.

Professor Janice Kay CBE

If you have any questions, email us at

Please click the following link for the ongoing internal and external support available. Elevate Support and Signposting

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a student, please click HERE

If you are a member of staff, please click HERE

Sexual assault
Coffee shop

A group of males are in coffee shop, leering over a girl. They are competing with each other on who will be the first to inappropriately grope her.

Sexual violence
Exam chat

Group of friends texting after exam, someone uses the phrase “totally raped me” to describe the exam.

Labs social

A group of students are texting about a social event, someone excludes another student because they don’t drink and comments ‘they can’t understand them anyway’

Where are you from?

Group of people doing introductions, when someone replies to the question “where are you from?” they are met with the follow up question, “but where are you really from?”