As colleges and universities throughout the nation have worked in recent years to implement measures that mitigate potential for sexual assault and misconduct on campuses, Bates College, along with 500 other institutions nationwide, has led the charge through its dedicated involvement in the Green Dot program. In 2015, Bates College joined the Green Dot program in order to train students, faculty, and staff on effective violence prevention measures that ultimately work to reduce occurrences of sexual violence and assault by educating members of our community on useful intervention measures.
The Green Dot program, created roughly ten years ago, was founded by clinical psychologist Dorothy Edwards, who believed that the key to lowering incidents of sexual violence on college campus was to reframe the dialogue to engage populations that were traditionally excluded, such as male students and members of the faculty and staff. By creating a program that preaches intervention techniques to every social and administrative group on campus, the Green Dot program works to educate communities with practical and useful preventative techniques. The ultimate goal is to reach the point where every individual and social group on a college campus is versed in Green Dot intervention and prevention techniques.
According to the Green Dot webpage, “Green Dot, etc. is an organization built on the premise that we can measurably and systematically reduce violence within any given community. We believe current research across disciplines, in combination with lessons learned from history, provides nearly all of the necessary puzzle pieces to create a successful model of violence prevention.”
Currently over 400 students at Bates have been trained under the Green Dot program, excluding alumni. In addition, 34 faculty members and 188 staff members have also dedicated time to mastering the violence prevention measures central to the mission of the Green Dot program. Blake Reilly, Director of Residential Life here on campus, has worked tirelessly along with the Campus Life department to spearhead the Green Dot campaign at Bates, hoping to include individuals from all corners of the Bates community in the campaign against sexual violence.
“The main goal is to create a culture that does not tolerance violence,” says Reilly. Reilly’s approach to tackling sexual assault and violence through the Green Dot program is one that relies heavily upon inclusion in the program from the masses.
While the Green Dot program has already reached many members of the Bates community, Reilly and others involved in the Green Dot program wish to encourage students to exhibit leadership and expand the program in the coming years. “While organization of Green Dot will stay within the administration, we would love to create a program for students to become facilitators,” Reilly says.
Currently there are seven facilitators (staff and faculty members) on campus that are the individuals with the proper training and authority to conduct Green Dot training seminars. In the coming years, it is hoped that students may become facilitators, ultimately working to increase student leadership in the Green Dot program.
In the meantime, members of the Green Dot program are continuing to find ways to include as many members of the Bates community as possible. Exemplary of these efforts is the men’s basketball team, of which every player underwent Green Dot training in order to understand measures of violence prevention, but also act as a role model for other athletic groups on campus. The men’s basketball team recently collaborated with Connecticut College in hosting a Green Dot sponsored basketball game in Alumni Gymnasium. In addition, the Bates men’s and women’s squash team have also volunteered time to undergo Green Dot training.
As Bates College works to eliminate the risk of sexual violence and assault on campus, the Green Dot program will remain vital to these efforts. It is important that the Green Dot program continues to grow on campus, targeting and reaching as many individuals and social groups on campus as possible. Students interested in undergoing the Green Dot training program may find more information at http://www.bates.edu/campus/greendot/cats/.