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Student’s are doing Green Dots!

Power Based Personal Violence Prevention: Bystander Training

Jill Royston, M.A., Program Coordinator, Student Wellness Resource Center

While most students were returning to campus from winter break, moving into their rooms again, visiting with friends, etc., a select group of students chose to share their time with members of the Gonzaga University Green Dot Education group and learn how to become active bystanders in their community.  On Monday, January 10th, 29 GU students participated in the first Bystander Training.  This training had four goals: 1)  Educate students about Power-Based Personal Violence, 2)  Educate students about Red Dots (any act, thought, behavior, or inaction that creates or perpetuates violence) and Green Dots (any act, thought, behavior, etc. that shares an intolerance of any form of violence and promotes safety), 3)  Encourage students to become active bystanders and 4)  Provide knowledge and skill building as to why we don’t respond and how to overcome personal obstacles so that we will respond.  By targeting popular opinion leaders on our campus (these can be students, staff, faculty and administration), this grass-roots campaign, we believe, will take off on the GU campus!

Kayte Bradshaw, G+ President training on Green Dots!
The Bystander Training consists of four modules, 1) Introduction to Green Dot, 2) Recognizing Red Dots, 3) Bystanders: Identifying Self Defining Moments and Overcoming Barriers, and 4) Reactive and Proactive Green Dots.  Throughout the training, students followed along in their own workbooks that highlighted the key points, provided activities, and defined the concepts associated with Green Dot.  Students also viewed different video clips of bystander behavior, identified the issues they saw in the videos and watched as others responded or didn’t respond in perceived high risk situations.  In module three, students are presented research and studies into bystander behavior and the obstacles that many times leave us not acting.  It is also an empowering module in that it gives the participants three “D’s” of action: Directly intervene, Delegate to someone who will act, and lastly Distract.  In the last module, students were challenged to a “readers theater” – a true skills practice with scenarios that the students read through and practiced “doing Green Dots”.

The training was facilitated by one student (G+ President Kayte Bradshaw, Senior, Psychology major), five staff members and two administrators who volunteered their time to support this critical work.  The training lasted six hours with only brief breaks throughout the time frame.  The students were engaged, actively participated and shared stories and situations in which they stepped up as active bystanders or future situations in which they would step up.   Multiple students shared that the time passed so quickly! At the end of the training, all participants reflected back upon the experience and were challenged to do a Green Dot in the next 24 hours (the group brainstormed what they could do and shared with one another).  By checking in with a friend who seems nervous or anxious about her/his relationship, asking questions and letting them know you’re there – you’ve done a Green Dot; when you see a couple arguing outside your residence hall, calling the Resident Advisor to check it out – you’ve done a Green Dot; by updating your Facebook status to show that you want to help end violence of all kinds – that’s a Green Dot.

“I can make a difference no matter how small it may seem at the time,
it adds up.  Kind of like a coin in a jar.”
~ Gonzaga University Student

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