Green Dot offers trainings to improve campus culture

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By Jamie Welch, Staff Writer

Gettysburg College will be holding training for the Green Dot program in the coming weeks. Green Dot is a new initiative being launched campus-wide this year and lead by Associate Dean for Violence Prevention and Resolution/Title IX Coordinator Jennifer McCary to promote proactive bystander intervention and positive cultural change on campus.

Imagine for a moment a map of Gettysburg College with red dots spread across it, symbolizing the spread of some terrible epidemic – each tiny red dot representing an individual case.  Each red dot on this map represents an act of power-based personal violence (partner violence, sexual violence, stalking) – or an individual choice to do nothing in the face of a potentially high risk situation.  Power-based personal violence is not a huge, solid mass that can simply be removed with one swift action or policy.  Rather, it is the accumulation of individual decisions, moments, values, and actions made by the men and women from every corner in the world.

Now imagine adding a green dot in the middle of all those red dots on our map. A green dot represents any behavior, choice, word, or attitude that promotes safety for all members of the campus community and communicates utter intolerance for any form of violence. A green dot is pulling a friend out of a high risk situation, responding to a victim-blaming statement with words of support, posting a message on Facebook, coordinating a training for student organizations, displaying an awareness poster in offices, wearing green dot gear, striking up a conversation with a friend about how much this issue matters, writing a paper, SURGE post, or giving a speech on violence prevention…a green dot is simply an individual choice at any given moment to make our community safer.

The program website describes the need for a change in campus culture: “If most members of the campus community choose inaction, if they choose to close our eyes to this issue, if they choose apathy and indifference, then the red dots remain…and continue! If we do not begin replacing moments of violence and inaction with moments of support and safety, then we will surely continue to have our friends, partners, students, colleagues and classmates become victims.“

The first Green Dot training being offered this semester is Monday, September 21st from 1-5pm in CUB 260. Please RSVP no later than Friday, September 18th by 12pm if you would like to participate by emailing with your name, pronouns, and anything the planning team may need to know. During training, participants will receive a comprehensive approach to responding to and preventing power-based personal violence. The goal is for this training is to engage in a basic education program that will equip participants to integrate moments of prevention within existing relationships and daily activities. By doing so, new norms will be introduced and those within their inner circle will be influenced to move from passive agreement that violence is wrong, to active intervention. This training was designed for students, but all are welcome. There will be additional trainings throughout the year, with the next one occurring in October. Visit for more information about the program and trainings.


(Portions of this article were sourced from the Gettysburg College Green Dot website:

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Author: Jamie Welch

Jamie Welch '18 served as editor-in-chief of The Gettysburgian from May 2016 to May 2018. Jamie also served as the webmaster and as a staff writer for the features and news sections. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a minor in Business. Follow him on Twitter @welchjamesk.

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