Connecticut College celebrated its annual Green Dot Week—a series of events and activities dedicated to raising awareness about the College’s violence prevention program—with a visit to campus by Green Dot creator Dorothy Edwards, recognition for the College’s director of sexual violence prevention and advocacy Darcie Folsom and, of course, lots and lots of green.
Folsom implemented the Green Dot program at Connecticut College in 2010. Through the national program, students, faculty and staff are trained in bystander-intervention techniques to help prevent power-based personal violence, including sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. A "Green Dot" is defined as any behavior, choice, word or attitude that counters or displaces a "red dot" of violence, promoting safety for everyone and communicating utter intolerance for sexual violence, interpersonal violence and stalking.
The College’s success with the Green Dot program was highlighted in a Feb. 8 Huffington Post story, “This Is Why Every College Is Talking About Bystander Intervention.”
“We know from Green Dot research that there is a 50 percent reduction in sexual violence on campuses that engage in the Green Dot program,” said Edwards, who serves as executive director of Green Dot, at a special reception for Folsom. "It’s truly been an honor to have Darcie as a partner in this work.”
Nearly 900 students, faculty and staff have completed Green Dot training since the program was implemented at the College, including 90 faculty, staff and students who were trained during Green Dot Week 2016.
At the reception, President Katherine Bergeron commended Folsom for her leadership and also recognized Senior Associate Dean of Student Life Sarah Cardwell and Director of Student Wellness and Alcohol/Other Drug Education CC Curtiss, who were instrumental in launching the College’s proactive effort to prevent sexual violence.
“It is incredibly inspiring to be in the company of such visionary women," Bergeron said.
A highlight of Green Dot Week was the 5th Annual Green Dot Men’s Hockey Game, which drew a crowd of more than 500. Members of the team, more than 70 percent of whom have been trained in the Green Dot program, donned special green jerseys to take on Tufts University. The event featured raffle prizes and giveaways, and spectators wore green to show their Green Dot pride.
“Green Dot is important to me as it allows me to help create a safe community,” said men’s hockey player Joe Birmingham ’16. “By living the Green Dot, I am able to be a part of the solution when it comes to violence prevention.”
Several members of the team were interviewed by The Huffington Post. “After five years, Green Dot is as much a part of life for the hockey team as practice,” the article said.
Other Green Dot Week events included a gym takeover, a bar night (for students age 21 and up) and a lecture and conversation about the psychology at play in bystander intervention, among other events.