By Kristen Maki, Student Affairs
PULLMAN, Wash. – When it comes to preventing sexual assault and violence — whether it’s on campus or in the community — every person plays a key role.
That message was emphasized in a recent four-day, intensive training program known as the Green Dot Institute.
“Most students don’t want to live in a community or world where sexual violence is common,” said Paula Adams, associate director of health promotion at Cougar Health Services. “A foundational tenet of the Green Dot program is that nobody has to do everything, but everybody can do something to create a culture shift so that sexual assault, stalking, and intimate partner violence are less likely.”
Fifty community leaders from WSU, University of Idaho and partner organizations participated in the training held at the Courtyard Marriott in Pullman. Faculty and staff representatives from WSU Pullman and Tri-Cities included the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life, Residence Life, Student Involvement, Women’s Center and WSU Police Department.
“The training was an excellent opportunity to learn program foundations and strategies with colleagues who are committed and passionate about reducing violence,” said Kathleen Boyce Rodgers, an associate professor in WSU’s Department of Human Development. “The training helped prepare me to support violence prevention efforts at WSU by providing a unifying framework and direct methods to increase individuals’ awareness and willingness to speak out against violence.”
The Green Dot strategy is focused on everyday actions each member of the community can take to reduce violence and create cultural change. Green Dot enlists all students, staff, administrators and faculty as allies in proactively making campus a safer place.
Led by Alteristic, the creators of the Green Dot College Prevention Strategy, the Green Dot Institute certified participants in a research-supported approach to preventing sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking on college campuses.
“This training will allow our officers to connect even further with students, faculty and staff to empower them to help make the cultural shift and create an environment where power-based personal violence is not tolerated,” said Dawn Daniels, a sergeant in the WSU Police Department.
WSU Pullman launched its Green Dot program in 2011 and has continuously expanded education and prevention efforts in the following years. Since 2014, all incoming undergraduate students have participated in a brief Green Dot session led by Cougar Health Services as part of their first-year orientation.
Cougar Health Services also offers longer, comprehensive bystander training throughout the year to all students, staff and faculty who want to learn how to create a safer culture on campus and respond to potentially dangerous situations. Cougar Health Services has hosted an average of five of these trainings annually and will have the capacity to do more after the Green Dot Institute.
“As the most consistent members of our community, expanded involvement from staff and faculty is key for creating this culture shift to a safer community,” said Adams.
Faculty and staff members who participated in the training will help lead work groups to expand training and involvement opportunities for other faculty and staff across campus.
Staff and faculty who have a full day or only five minutes can act to support Green Dot and prevent sexual violence. Learn how by contacting Cougar Health Services at email@example.com.
- Kristen Maki, communications coordinator, Division of Student Affairs, 509-335-6025, firstname.lastname@example.org