Preventing violence one green dot at a time

By Sam Spurlock ’18, Staff Writer

Violence is everywhere in the world; it’s in the papers, it’s on the news and it may even be happening at Lebanon Valley College.

Violence may just keep occurring until people start to take action. A group by the name of Green Dot is encouraging students to take those actions.

Green Dot is a bystander intervention program designed to provide the campus community with the tools they need to prevent violence. It was brought to campus in 2014 by Brent Oberholtzer, Director of Public Safety and Green Dot Coordinator, and Marianne Goodfellow, Associate Professor of Sociology. The organization provides an opportunity for students and faculty who want to make a change, to get involved and try to make a difference in the world, starting on campus.

“I try to do anything in my power to help those in need, and I want to learn new ways to help,” Rachel Schulz, a freshman music education major, said.

Green dots are behaviors, actions and attitudes that promote safety and show an intolerance for violence. Red dots are any act of violence. Green Dot is very proactive in preventing red dots from appearing on campus and conveys that preventing violence is not an individual effort, but a community-based one. The main message the group hopes to spread is this: “Nobody has to do everything, but everyone has to do something.”

“It is important to have this program here because no one deserves to have their sense of security violated,” Roberto Marti, Assistant Director of Admission and Coordinator of Transfer Recruitment, said.

In order to spread the message and work around campus, the program has Green Dot Ambassadors. In order to become an ambassador, students have to go through a training session instructed by members of the Green Dot Committee.

On Sunday, Sept. 18, Green Dot held its first Bystander Intervention Training of the academic year. The training lasted four hours and consisted of four different lessons. The lessons covered topics such as recognizing concerning behaviors, reactive tools and proactive tools.

Students also took part in multiple interactive activities including anonymously sharing their personal experiences with different forms of violence such as sexual assault or stalking. In addition, situations were compiled and students had to determine what actions to take to combat these problems.

“The world is becoming a different place, and violence of all types are [is] becoming more prevalent, so it is important to educate students so that violence can be prevented,” Taylor Reed, a freshman early childhood/special education major, said.

If a student is interested in becoming Green Dot certified, three additional training sessions are to be held this academic year on Oct. 23, Nov. 20 and Feb. 5. In addition, the organization will be hosting a Green Dot 5k in the spring where all are welcome.

For more information on the Green Dot organization at LVC, click HERE.









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