Public university offers 'breakup training'

SUNY Delhi implemented training on how to end a relationship in response to increased Title IX reports dealing with post-breakup harassment.

The workshops are designed to help couples break up peacefully.

A SUNY school is teaching students how to properly end a relationship as part of an initiative begun this year in response to increased Title IX reports dealings with post-breakup harassment.

SUNY Delhi implemented the training at this year’s freshmen orientation but says it will continue to offer workshops concerning the issue of healthy relationships throughout the year, according to New York Magazine.

“We felt we needed more of a focus specifically on how to end a relationship because people need to know a fair amount about the importance of communication and mutual respect,” Lori Osterhoudt, campus director of counseling and health services, told the magazine.

The trainings are designed to provide effective and kind ways to breakup with someone that enables both parties to walk away peacefully.

“Don’t say, ‘I just need to find myself. I need some space for a while.’ Even though they’re trying to let you down gently, it’s not really kind to do it that way,” Osterhoudt said in an interview with Science of US. “Another thing has to do with social media. Don’t change your status to ‘single’ right away...A lot of things are … I don’t want to say common sense, because that seems condescending. But they are.”

The breakup workshop is part of the university’s bystander intervention program, called BroncoCHECK, which teaches students how to step in if a situation “has the potential to be risky, dangerous, unhealthy, unjust, or an emergency.”

Such situations include alcohol poisoning, fighting, cheating, and relationship abuse among others.

“We have students who have already been ‘BroncoCHECK-ing’ each other ... when someone says something sexist or inappropriate, at parties when they see a friend has had too much to drink,” said Osterhoudt.

Osterhoudt also advises using “I” instead of the accusatory “me” when confronting someone and to find a hobby or activity to take your mind off a breakup.

Kimberly MacLeod, Director of Communications and New Media at SUNY Delhi, told Campus Reform that the university’s student life workers have trained additional staff on the workshops and no money has been taken from student fees.

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