Whether she is encouraging her Trin-Cycle spin class to power through a grueling long ride or completing sociology homework in the Fish Bowl window section at Peter B’s, you’ve likely seen this Bant ‘”Around the Flock.” Check out my Women’s History Month interview below with Sam McCarthy ’21 as she tells me about all things Trin and all things Green Dot, a new power-based personal violence prevention program that’s about to make waves on campus. Consider this your sneak peek.
Sam McCarthy Class Year: 2021 Major: sociology with a community action minor Hometown: Vancouver, WA
Why did you choose Trinity?
I really wanted to go to school somewhere far away from home. Specifically, I wanted to go to the east coast because that is where my dad is from. I also really liked the idea of a small liberal arts school.
The Bistro or The Cave?
What is your favorite spot on campus?
Peter B’s by the windows (aka The Fish Bowl)
What are you involved in on campus?
I teach Trin-Cycle classes on Mondays and Wednesdays through Trin Recreation, I am on the executive board of Alpha Chi Omega, I was a first-year mentor last fall, and I’ll be a mentor again this coming fall, and I am a student worker for Green Dot!
What is Green Dot?
Green Dot is a bystander intervention program that a lot of colleges and universities use as a way to decrease power-based personal violence (most commonly sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking) on campuses. The program is centered around every individual making small choices to do their part in changing an overall campus culture so that this type of violence is no longer tolerated. A green dot is a single choice that someone makes to lessen the likelihood that a red dot, which is an act of violence, will occur.
How has Green Dot impacted campus?
One unique aspect of Green Dot is that everyone on campus is involved in the effort. We have given overviews to various groups of faculty and staff members as well as student leader groups. So far, this includes RA’s, P.R.I.D.E. Leaders, many of the athletic teams, and a few of the Greek life organizations. The program is still being implemented, but I have loved seeing the positive responses of those who have already been trained. Seeing students with the Green Dot phone wallets and stickers gives me hope that our campus culture is strengthening and that this program is one that will stick with Bants. I think Green Dot makes Trinity safer, and I believe our school is becoming a better place because of it.
How did you first get involved with Green Dot?
I had been told about the Green Dot program by one of the Trinsition Fellows when only the faculty and staff knew about the program, and I was encouraged to apply for the student worker position last summer. I’ve been working for Green Dot this academic year, and I will be on campus again this summer continuing this work!
Why is Green Dot important to you?
I have always been extremely passionate about advocating on behalf of preventing power-based personal violence, and my passion has grown since coming to college. I love Green Dot because the program meets students where they are and uses this to create realistic bystander intervention tactics. Green Dot trainings are interactive, and the examples provided directly relate to the current campus culture. If I could single-handedly change the culture of Trinity, and of all college campuses to stop violence, I would. However, I know that’s not realistic, and that’s why I believe in Green Dot. No one has to do everything, but everyone has to do something.
How can other students help spread Green Dot’s message?
There are two ways that students can spread this message. First, if you see a situation you think could turn into an act of violence, you can do what is called a “reactive green dot” and make an attempt to eliminate the chance of a red dot happening. Reactive green dots can be any one of the three “D’s”:
Whether you ask someone to stop what they’re doing directly, ask them to go to the bathroom with you, or call campus safety to intervene, there is always something you can do that is within your comfort zone. The training session helps participants brainstorm realistic green dots that they would feel comfortable doing in different situations.
The other way to spread the message is through “proactive green dots” which are ways to show that you support this program and therefore do not tolerate power-based personal violence. Adding that you support green dot to your email signature, using a Green Dot phone wallet, following Green Dot on social media, or telling your friends about the program are all examples of proactive green dots. If everyone chooses not to tolerate power-based personal violence, the campus will no longer tolerate it, and culture can change.
How can other students get involved with Green Dot?
If anyone is interested in having their organization/club/team participate in a 60-min training, contact me, Sam McCarthy at email@example.com or Trinsition Fellow Shelia Njau at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let us know!
Additionally, the week of April 8 is slated to be Green Dot Week at Trin. There will be tabling and events throughout the week which will help launch the program and its practices to the entire campus. There will be opportunities to hear more about the program and to sign up for an overview training session if you’re interested. The week culminates on Saturday, April 13 with Green Dot Game Day where a number of spring athletic teams will play home games while representing the program. Come by throughout the week and on Game Day to learn more about the program and maybe pick up some merchandise.
& look out for Trin’s new Green Dot Insta coming soon: @trincollgreendot