About 100 students have completed a new gender-based violence prevention training at AU.
The Green Dot Project is a national program working to stop power-based violence including sexual abuse, dating violence and stalking. The program trains students, faculty and staff members to promote safety within the campus community.
Green Dot teaches reactive and proactive approaches to social situations where violence could occur, according to Daniel Rappaport, sexual assault prevention coordinator at AU.
Students participate in training where they engage in realistic simulations of potential situations where sexual assault could occur. Students are also encouraged to engage in conversation about the program with their peers.
“Green Dot actually teaches you specific, concrete ways to prevent violence,” said Lauren Croll, an intern at the Wellness Center and a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs and the College of Arts and Sciences. “A lot of training is role-playing, so you already have that experience to go into a real-life situation.”
A “green dot” stands for a positive action that promotes the safety of a community, according to the mission statement of the program. It offsets the “red dots,” which are signs of aggression, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking.
During two different training sessions this semester approximately 100 students completed eight hours of training.
All resident assistants completed the Green Dot Program during the first training session that was offered to AU students this semester. This summer’s orientation leaders will also undergo this bystander-focused prevention training so that they can promote the program to freshmen, according to Rappaport.
“That will create a big opportunity for incoming freshmen to be aware of Green Dot,” he said.
The University paid to have on-site training from Green Dot instructors for the 42 faculty and staff members in June.
The Eagle could not confirm in time for publication the amount AU paid to register for the Green Dot Program.
Rappaport has been working with Sarah Glassman, resident director for Centennial Hall, to promote the Green Dot Program.
“It’s about making a culture using Green Dot,” Rappaport said. “Now, we’ve taken lots of different steps to get different groups involved, to try to spread the message out, but it’s not always easy to make something go viral.”
Beyond reaching out through social media, on Twitter and Facebook, Green Dot participants give speeches to classes and student groups.
“Two of the Green Dot girls came to the chapter meeting of my sorority, and I realized I had to be a part of this,” said Maeghan Crociata, a freshman in Kogod School of Business and member of Sigma Delta Tau.
As AU students work to spread the Green Dot message, program-certified students embrace simulation and discussion-based training to actively promote safety and equality.
“Training widened my perspective on what are examples of this cultural violence against women,” said Nate Bronstein, former Student Government president and member of AU Men of Strength, a club committed to ending sexual assault. “Like I said, it’s not always things like sexual assault, but it’s the little things that are part of this broader culture of putting down women.”
However, Bronstein doesn’t want to see the program become a requirement on campus.
“It should never be mandatory,” Bronstein said. “It should never be an assignment, where people absolutely have to do it. It should be something natural that just happens.”