Leah Swope ’22
Following the recent implementation of the Green Dot violence prevention strategy on campus, Trinity held “Green Dot Week” as an opportunity for students to learn more about the program. Green Dot seeks to train students, faculty, and staff in bystander intervention to help prevent instances of power-based personal violence. A “Green Dot” is classified as any act of positive intervention that would counter or displace a “Red Dot” (any negative action or violence) with the goal of reducing the likelihood that someone will be hurt. The ultimate goal is to have a campus climate that cancels out all red dots with green dots.
To clarify, a Green Dot is a choice to do something, anything to make it less likely that someone gets hurt or an action that shows the people around you that you don’t tolerate violence and are doing your part to prevent it. This could be an intervention to prevent hate culture, sexual assault culture, poor campus culture, etc. Every person on campus can be involved in creating a Green Dot campus whether they realize they are creating Green Dots or not. Placing a Green Dot sticker on your water bottle, posting on Facebook, or talking with friends about intervention are all ways to create Green Dots and spread the word about the strategy. Eventually, Green Dot hopes to create a campus culture where people strive to look out for each other. As their slogan states; “No one has to do everything, but everyone has to do something.”
Laura Lockwood, the Director of WGRAC and the Green Dot Coordinator, has seen the evolution of campus response to violence over her time spent at Trinity. In the 2000s, she notes, that there was training around consent and sexual misconduct/harassment protection, but not an overall effort on campus to address these things. As bystander intervention became more of a researched topic, it became clear that bystander intervention was one of the best ways to prevent sexual misconduct. WGRAC kicked off its bystander intervention program and has since trained hundreds of student leaders, in addition to requiring sophomore students to participate in bystander intervention training. Despite all of this, leaders still didn’t see enough of a culture change. Green Dot differs from the previously implemented programs as it understands that there are people on campus who have social capital and power and seeks to teach them first and foremost.
Groups can come to Green Dot and choose to get overviewed in order to become a Green Dot certified club/organization. Green Dot has seen a strong response specifically from Greek organizations on campus who have chosen to get their members overviewed. The overview is never mandatory, but as Green Dot has seen, once one club or organization gets certified, it places a sort of positive pressure on other organizations to become certified as well. The overview focuses on avoiding finger pointing or assumptions and focuses on positive things every student can do to make a change. In response to concerns about whether students will take what they learn in the overview seriously or not, Green Dot members replied that if even a few people in the organization buy in, then it starts a sort of trickle-down effect where people start to make Green Dots. The point is to start small and give everyone the tools to make the right choice if they are in a poor situation. From there, Green Dot will grow and change campus culture from the inside out.
For more information or to inquire about getting your organization certified, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.