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The Whitworthian

The Student News Site of Whitworth University

The Whitworthian

The Student News Site of Whitworth University

The Whitworthian

Green Dot offers training in assault and bullying prevention

Abebaye Asrat Bekele | Staff Writer

In a recent ASWU meeting, sophomore Andie Rupke informed students that the Green Dot Movement has been reforming its mission.

The Green Dot Movement helps raise awareness about bullying, harassment and sexual assault on campus. It also helps people become active bystanders.  

Rupke is the student outreach liaison for the Green Dot Movement.

“[Green Dot is] a way of equipping students with the knowledge to recognize harassment, bullying or sexual assault in everyday life,” Rupke said.

Sophomore Rhiana Everest is an overseer of The Green Dot Movement.

“Back in October my boss Pam Oswalt, who is a counselor to the health center, retired and she was leading the whole thing before I got hired,” Everest said.

Green Dot had a more behind-the-scenes presence but now the movement is working to be visible and consistent, Everest said.

The movement uses terminologies such as “green dot” and “red dot” to refer to a possibly violent situation. Green dots occur when violence is prevented and red dots when violence occurs.

Green Dot helps people to be active or proactive bystanders.

“A reactive green dot [is used] because you are reacting to a situation,” Everest said. “A proactive green dot, telling people about green dot, telling people not to laugh at rape jokes and things like that.”

“Teaching people to step in when they see something dangerous,” Everest said. 

The Green Dot Movement teaches different techniques to help people intervene in a manner that is comfortable for each individual.  

“A lot of it is teaching students what we call ‘the three D’s’: distract, delegate and direct,” Rupke said.  “Green Dot believes that anyone can confront an issue of violence with these three D’s.”

These steps include creating a distraction if any sort of violence is happening. Another approach that could be taken is delegating,  where an individual could call 911 or directly interfere to stop a situation, Everest said.

“During training and other events we have people write down the names of three people close to them,” Everest said.  “At the end of it we will go back and say, if something were to happen to these people, would you want someone else to step in? Would you want someone else to help keep them safe? If so, you should do that for other people.”

Freshmen are made aware of the movement during orientation because Green Dot gives a presentation about the movement in CowlesMemorial Auditorium. Freshmen don’thear about the movement after that, Rupke said.

“Our goal next year is to go to every class meeting so everyone gets a refresher of what Green

Dot is at the beginning of the year,” Rupke said. “Because the most harassment, bullying and sexual violence happens within the first two months of school.”

Freshman Claire Anderson is a member of the Green Dot Movement who joined because the movement promotes a safe environment for the Whitworth community.

“If I can do anything to help people feel comfortable and that is something that makes me happy,” Anderson said. “It promotes something really good especially across campus and it is such an easy yet rewarding thing to do that everybody should get involved.”

Everyone is encouraged to attend the trainings and implement what they have learned in everyday life, Everest said.

The movement holds training sessions on how to become an active bystander. The next training is April 8, Everest said.

Contact Abebaye Asrat Bekele at [email protected]

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Green Dot offers training in assault and bullying prevention