Campus should prepare itself for a green makeover starting next week with Green Dot’s Launch Week.

Before getting into the details of launch week, who are the people organizing this and why are they doing it?

Blake Reilly, Assistant Director of Residential Life, came to Bates after graduating from Connecticut College. His experience there with drinking and socializing began without much thought. However, as the Green Dot program was implemented at Connecticut College, Reilly saw legitimate change over his four years. By senior year, anyone drinking did so more thoughtfully and it was expected that peers would check on anyone standing alone, or looking troubled.

Seeing the real potential and success of this program at Connecticut College, Reilly came to Bates to put it in action. Beginning last Short Term, 77 students were trained in the Green Dot program, reflecting real interest and excitement from Batesies on this issue from the start. This year, there are already 85 trained members with 60 more signed up for the next training.

Qiu Fogarty, Assistant Director of Student Life, hadn’t heard of the program before arriving at Bates, but learned of it through Reilly. This program is nationwide and holds the goal of reducing harm by both committing to a community where violence is not tolerated and bystander intervention is expected. Learning this, Fogarty realized how logical and beneficial it’s implementation would be on this campus simply because Bates already prides itself on caring and watching out for others. The Green Dot program enhances that commitment and takes it to a new level through further education of the importance of this effort and equipping members with specific strategies.

Both Reilly and Fogarty are incredibly pleased by the program’s impact on campus thus far and with the number of people already signed up and trained. People are able to name the potentially bad acts ‘Red Dots’ and reference ‘Green Dots’, or good things people are doing. This discussion and awareness is at the core of the Green Dot program.

Next week, October 13-17, is the Green Dot Launch Week. There will be events each day to bring Green Dot to the center of attention on campus—all are guaranteed to be fun and interactive and will help spread the idea and importance of bystander intervention throughout the whole campus.

Some highlights to look forward to are Wednesday’s Green Dot Dinner and Saturday’s Soccer Game. Wednesday from 4:30-8:00pm, members of the Green Dot program will be in the fishbowl to talk about their training experience and the details of the program itself. There will also be Green Dot cards to write down some ‘Green Dots’ you or a friend have done on campus. These will all be put up on a banner and hung in Commons to show Bates coming together to promote Green Dots and the school’s commitment to creating a safer community. Cookies and chai will also be provided.

Saturday, the Bates Women’s Soccer team faces off against Tufts at 12:00 pm on Russell Street field. Green Dot members will be supporting from the stands. The first 100 people at the game have a chance to win $25 to Mother India or a free T-shirt.

The Green Dot program hopes to open up the conversation of the culture here at Bates and, though many will say we are doing pretty well, there are always ways in which we can improve. If you are interested, or want to get involved, be sure to attend the Launch Week activities to learn more about the program and sign up for the next training on November 4th.