Bystander training debuts at XU

Green Dot brings together students, faculty and staff for a common cause

By spencer Tracy, Staff Writer

As Xavier’s Green Dot program moves into its second phase, all staff members and certain students are now eligible for the power-based violence perception program that seeks to proactively change campus norms.

“Green Dot is the first step in a long-term, comprehensive primary prevention strategy,” Talia Mason, Title IX and Interpersonal Violence Response Program Director for Green Dot, said. “The goal of Green Dot is to permanently reduce power and gender-based violence including, but not limited to, sexual assault, dating (and) domestic violence and stalking.” 

Green Dot participants are educated on sexual violence prevention methods and learn to be active bystanders on campus. They are also taught how to navigate potentially dangerous situations.

Mason said that the Implementation Team at Xavier has already trained 15% of all faculty and staff but is on a mission to increase that number. The next goal is to train 10% of the student body, or roughly 500 students. From there, its message will spread throughout Xavier’s campus.

Newswire photo by Alex Budzynski
Talia Mason and Shannon Hughes, members of the Green Dot Implementation Team, interact with students outside Gallagher.

A nationally recognized program, Green Dot hopes to achieve three key goals when training its members. 

First, it aims to implement training strategies that educate its Green Dot volunteers with tools to support students and faculty in participating in prevention against sexual assault. 

A second goal of training is to make their staff feel comfortable enough to become a confident, proactive bystander by learning how to communicate during their formal or informal interactions with an attacker or survivor. 

Lastly, the program aims to spread the word about Green Dot so more students and faculty can learn to become proactive bystanders. It also educates participants on how to correctly manage a potential sexual assault incident.

The program promotes a set of actions, which are called green dots.

A green dot is a behavior, attitude, choice or word that encourages safety for Xavier’s campus environment and communicates intolerance for sexual assault, abusive relationships or gender-based violence. 

These actions are separated into “proactive” and “reactive” categories.

Proactive Green Dots are people who reach out to colleagues or friends, informing them they will hear their story. This includes checking in on them frequently to understand how they feel. They organize events to spread information while wearing Green Dot swag and posting about it on social media. 

Reactive Green Dots are the messengers. Being a reactive Green Dot is when someone opens up about a sexual assault incident and promises they will listen without judgment or comment and will direct them to the proper resources while keeping the conversation confidential. They also look out for inappropriate non-consensual touching of another person, physically abusing someone or signs of an abusive relationship occur. 

Last Thursday, the Green Dot Implementation Team hosted an event outside of Gallagher Student Center to promote Green Dot. Students passing the table were encouraged to place a green sticker on a red dot, a symbolic gesture for standing up to power-based violence.

The Implementation Team is currently working to promote the Green Dot name, and collect recommendations for students to undergo the training.

“We are working to create a list of students who will be invited to attend bystander intervention trainings in the Spring semester,” Mason said.