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Exe-Change the Norm

Exe-Change the Norm

Exe-Change the Norm

Exe-Change the Norm

Exeter academics Dr Rachel Fenton and Dr Nate Eisenstadt have developed the ‘Exe-Change the Norm’ programme which is available to all Exeter students across all campuses.  

This programme is comprised of three training sessions that target Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) priorities around gendered harms (e.g., sexism, sexual harassment, intimate partner abuse) through bystander intervention.  

Exe-Change the Norm is tailored to the student community both in terms of pedagogy and content (including language, examples and contextual scenarios.)   

These sessions provide a safe and inclusive space to explore these topics through encouraging a person-centred approach, whilst imparting skills and knowledge based on positive framing. This means, we create an open environment that celebrates individuals’ qualities and enables the non-judgmental practice of Bystander Intervention. 

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

  • 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?

The programme consists of the three sessions 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 three sessions will be delivered on a rolling basis throughout the year to allow students to attend the different sessions at a time that suits them best as part of their personal development options. 

We are also creating a shorter option of the programme. This will be a 2-hour one-off training session that will cover a streamlined version of Session 1 and 3 content; Introduction to Bystander and Social Norms and Strategies for Intervention. 

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  

What does the Bystander programme count towards?  

Apart from the all-important new skills, knowledge and behaviours –The Bystander 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 sessions, you will have completed the bystander journey as shown on Handshake. This will result in receiving a LinkedIn recommendation for the Bystander programme on your 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?”