First Green Dot Week held on Grounds

Week long event includes overview talks, bystander training

nsgreendotcourtesyuniversityofvirginia

“I truly believe that we can reduce these acts of violence,” Curtin said.

Courtesy University of Virginia

The University is holding its first ever Green Dot Week from Feb. 3-10 in an effort to spread awareness about the Green Dot program and encourage members of the University community to get involved.

Since arriving on Grounds in January 2015, Green Dot has worked to promote its two-part message: violence will not be tolerated at the University, and everyone is expected to help make Grounds safe, according to the Not On Our Grounds website.

Green Dot Week consists of a number of open overview talks, bystander training, an interactive map outside Newcomb and events during which students are encouraged to wear their Green Dot t-shirts.

Francesca Tripodi, a PhD intern for the Office of the Dean of Students, said the events have been successful thus far, and even Miss Kathy has been spotted wearing a Green Dot pin.

“This is the first time we’ve done a Green Dot Week,” Tripodi said. “We thought it would be a great way to re-energize our community and remind them about what Green Dot is.”

Maeve Curtin, Student Council’s student liaison to the city council, said the members of Student Council staffed the Green Dot table outside of Newcomb, painted Beta Bridge and have been instrumental in marketing for Green Dot week.

“Student Council has been very supportive of the Green Dot movement since we brought it to Grounds back in January 2015,” Curtin said. “We believe in a campus culture where violence is not tolerated and students look out for each other.”

In additional to Student Council, many other organizations partnered with Green Dot for open overview talks, including U.Va. Dining, the Minority Rights Coalition, service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, First Year Players, the LGBTQ Center and the Darden School of Business.

“Green Dot, through the Office of the Dean of Students, reached out to a number of different organizations and asked for support and partnership,” Curtin said. “There’s strength in numbers, and you can accomplish so much more and reach a more diverse audience if you get different constituencies involved.”

Tripodi said part of the event’s success lies in partnering with these other groups on Grounds.

“Those groups have been able to work within their communities to get people to come out to these events,” Tripodi said.

In addition to the six overview talks organized in partnership with these various organizations, Tripodi said 15 undergraduates have been trained so far this semester and received their Green Dot certification. There will be a number of additional bystander training events throughout the spring.

Due to overwhelming demand for Green Dot programming, Tripodi said the Green Dot Institute will be coming to Grounds at the end of next week. During the two-day program, undergraduate faculty and staff will be trained and certified to deliver Green Dot content themselves.

As a result of these ongoing efforts to promote the Green Dot initiatives, Curtin said she is optimistic for the future of campus culture at the University.

“I truly believe that we can reduce these acts of violence,” Curtin said. “The moment we stop believing that we can change the culture is exactly the moment where we allow something that no one is comfortable with to persist.”

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