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Notre Dame launches GreeNDot program to combat violence on campus

| Monday, November 9, 2015

The GreeNDot program, a violence prevention strategy following the national Green Dot campaign, officially launched at Notre Dame on Friday with informational booths on campus and an introduction at Friday night’s hockey game, where the Irish played Minnesota.

Kate Morgan, co-chair of the GreeNDot communications committee and associate director of communications for Campus Ministry, said in an email that although the program has only been officially active for a few days, the student response has been impressive.

“Overall, the response from students has been amazing,” she said. “On Friday alone we collected over 450 green dots, which means 450 students took the time to listen to a five minute overview speech about the program, registered their email addresses or told us what they were personally doing online using the hashtag #NDGreeNDot. Our goal is to collect 5,000 green dots in the next two weeks.”

Events and promotions similar to those at the hockey game will occur at the men’s and women’s basketball games Nov. 17 and Nov. 18, respectively, Morgan said.

“Student fans receive free giveaways, including pens and T-shirts, and have the opportunity to sign up for an upcoming bystander training,” she said. “The Green Dot video is also shown at the sporting events and, at the hockey game, the players even wore green jerseys in honor of the program.”

Morgan said GreeNDot is not intended to replace older programs at the University, such as the ‘One is Too Many’ campaign but is intended as an extension.

“GreeNDot is being utilized in conjunction with existing programs at Notre Dame also used to prevent and report power-based violence, such as sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking,” Morgan said. “It should be viewed as an important continuation of the efforts of many, including the programs facilitated by the University-wide Committee on Sexual Assault Prevention (CSAP) and student government.”

GreeNDot is distinct from the other programs in that it emphasizes small actions contributing to a change in culture, Morgan said.

“What’s different is that GreeNDot invites the Notre Dame community to reconsider their roles in prevention by doing their part, no matter how small,” she said. “A ‘Green Dot’ could be striking up a conversation with a friend or family member about how much violence prevention matters or putting an awareness post on Facebook.”

The first step of reaching people through GreeNDot is the overview speech, which serves as an introduction and invites participants to attend a bystander training session. According to Morgan, 55 groups from the University have had or have signed up for overview speeches, reaching over 2,500 students and 250 faculty and staff members.

Morgan said the next bystander training sessions are Nov. 23 and 30, for three hours each, and Dec. 5 for the six-hour session at once.

“The bystander training is a six-hour training that helps students learn about the different types of power-based violence and equips them with the motivation, knowledge and skills they need to take action,” Morgan said. “It is composed of individual reflection, large group activities and small group interaction.”

GreeNDot has been so successful so far because it takes a daunting task, sexual assault prevention, and makes it more manageable to address as an individual, Morgan said.

“I think students welcome this approach to sexual assault prevention as it doesn’t force one person to do everything, but rather, encourages everyone to do something,” she said. “The Notre Dame community is committed to ending violence on our campus, and GreeNDot provides us all with a way to help.”

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About Megan Valley

Megan Valley was Assistant Managing Editor for The Observer. She majored in English and the Program of Liberal Studies and hailed from Flushing, Michigan.

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