Staff at Ann Arbor's Circ Bar undergo sexual assault prevention, bystander intervention training

U-M's Raise the Bar offers training to bars frequented by students

Staff at Circ Bar complete Raise the Bar training. (Courtesy: Circ Bar)
Staff at Circ Bar complete Raise the Bar training. (Courtesy: Circ Bar)

ANN ARBOR – Staff at Circ Bar recently underwent training by Raise the Bar, a program created by University of Michigan's Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center.

The program trains staff at popular student bars to be alert to dangerous situations that could lead to sexual or gender-based violence. Its two-hour, tailored workshops train staff to recognize unusual behavior and when and how to intervene. 

The training is the second element of the Circ Cares initiative, which allows nonprofits to use the venue's space for free. 

"At Circ, we strive to create an environment where responsible drinking is encouraged and if there's anything we can do to ensure that everyone leaves as safely as they arrive, we will do it," managing member Roger Ahn said in a statement.

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In order to create a safer environment, Circ Bar will have water stations, a mocktail menu and late-night food available on college nights. 

"I am happy to see The Circ Bar participate in community efforts to improve the safety for students who choose to go out to Ann Arbor bars," Rackham Student Government President Lucca Henrion said in a statement.

"Training staff for bystander intervention and sexual assault prevention, providing non-alcoholic options, and fostering responsible drinking are important steps to elevate bar culture. It makes me feel safer knowing that the Circ Bar is working to improve the status-quo for all patrons, including our students at the University of Michigan. Initiatives like this demonstrate how Circ is an ally to the Ann Arbor community."

Circ also plans to hold trainings for community organizations on topics such as bystander intervention, diversity and inclusion. 

The Circ Bar is located at 210 S. 1st St.

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For more information about Raise the Bar and to see which local establishments have undergone training, visit the program's Facebook page.

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