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Athlete reps taught bystander intervention

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This year, the GSC will be implementing a bystander intervention program called Green Dot, which is intended to reduce power-based personal violence (including stalking, domestic violence, sexual assault, etc.) through intervention and prevention.

Research shows that “a bystander is present for over 60% of crimes but only intervenes for 15% of the time” according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Green Dot is a program any campus can adopt by sending a staff or faculty from a campus to a five-day training in order to become a certified Green Dot trainer.

Last year, Laura Haave and Tegra Straight, director and co-director, respectively, of the Gender and Sexuality Center, Marit Lysne, Director of Student Health and Counseling, and Amy Silanpa, Associate Director of Residential Life, became certified Green Dot facilitators.

Statistically, there is about a 50% decrease in reported sexual violence on campuses that administer Green Dot, according to the University of Kentucky’s Center for Research on Violence against Women, where the Green Dot program originated.

“There are some things we’ve been doing for a long time, like Doing It Right, which is a program for incoming freshmen,” said Laura Haave, “but you just can’t only have one program one time when students get here, and think you’re done.”

Green Dot is designed to have student representatives of diverse groups on campus trained in bystander intervention. Students that attend the 6-hour training session will not only receive the necessary tools to become an effective bystander, but will learn how to prevent mentalities that perpetuate violent behavior.

“The purpose of the training is to provide … skills based training that gives people information about how to be empowered by standards and intervene if they see instances of power-based personal violence,” said Haave. “It’s not only intervening when something bad happens but also trying to change culture and be proactive.”

This year, the goal of Green Dot is to train at least 150 students among various groups throughout 4 pilot training sessions.

“Yes, you want to intervene and to stop someone from doing harm, but you also want to be proactive and create a campus where people feel safe and respected and they know that you wouldn’t do that here,” said Haave.

In comparison to other non-Green Dot programs, Green Dot is more effective because it emphasizes and addresses the importance of changing culture on campus in order to prevent violence before it happens.

“It’s not just responding, it’s trying to get people to think about root causes and getting people to think about culture change,” said Haave, “ and not all programs do that.”

Last term, the athletic department contacted the GSC hoping to get involved with Green Dot and helped organize the first training during NSW.

During New Student Week, Carleton Athletes participated in the first Green Dot training. All but one sports team was represented in the 35 student athletes that attended the first training.

“I think it’s important to have representation in the committee that’s launching things on our campus from our department. We are the largest department on campus, having the most faculty and staff, [and] we know a lot of students,” said Heidi Jaynes, Associate Athletic Director and Head Volleyball Coach.

“I fully expect a positive change on campus with the addition of Green Dot,” said Aaron Rushing, Head Coach of Baseball. “The more people that are trained on campus, the better chance there is to prevent some of these situations from happening. Participation is entirely voluntary, but I will continue to encourage our athletes to be a part,” he said.

Receiving positive feedback among the student athletes that participated, they will have another follow up training on the next mid-term break.

“I’ve gotten to learn a lot about how we can improve the culture even at Carleton. And I think it’s important to stay involved with what’s going on because it directly affects our students,” said Jaynes.

Although Green Dot is only open this year to students nominated by their peers, the Green Dot launch team is planning to make trainings and events open to all Carleton students interested in the 2016-2017 school year.

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