Green Dot: The Change That Starts with You

Scott Woodside and Nicky at the Welness Center

“If you see something, say something.” While this slogan was not created for the Green Dot program, it emphasizes the core idea behind it. Green Dot is a bystander intervention training program aimed to reduce power-based personal violence on Rowan campus.

Allison Pearce, Assistant Director of Health Campus Initiatives
Allison Pearce, assistant director of Health Campus Initiatives

In 2014, a CDC funded study found a 50% reduction in sexual violence perpetration in schools that received Green Dot training, compared to non-Green Dot schools. Today, Scott Woodside, director of Student Health Services, and Allison Pearce, assistant director of Healthy Campus Initiatives, share why and how Green Dot is beneficial not just to Rowan community, but to our overall society.

Blogger Natalia: While there is plenty information online about Green Dot, could you share your perspective on what the program is all about?

Allison: “Green Dot gives you different tools to intervene and reduce instances of power-based personal violence, some of which are inclusive of sexual violence or sexual assault, dating violence and domestic violence as well. It teaches you to intervene in a way that is number one – safe and is comfortable to you. We are all likely to do things that are within our comfort zone.”

Scott: “One of the main initiatives of this program is creating a culture where it’s acceptable to intervene, where it’s acceptable to report, acceptable to make people aware of the situation.”

Wellness Center FrontNatalia: Would you say the program has been successful on Rowan campus?

Scott: “The program has been incredibly successful in terms of changing a culture on campus, which is a main initiative here.”

Allison: “That’s right. Over the last winter break about 34 faculty and staff members received Green Dot training.”

Wellness Center Front DeskNatalia: Is there something that you would like to add about Green Dot?

Allison: “By law, all schools have to say something about sexual violence prevention in orientation. What’s unique to Rowan is how much we talk about it in our orientation. Every incoming freshman hears a lot of information about Title IX, and their parents hear about it from Scott or one of our counselors.”

Scott: “The parents get to hear us about our health initiatives. And we actually teach the parents on how to talk to their kids. So it’s not just a Green Dot program, or any other initiative. We are trying to put together a whole “package” that will affect culture. We are talking about these programs not in response to something, we are doing it because it’s the right thing to do.”

You can find more information about Green Dot program here. Essentially speaking, the power of Green Dot is simple: Red dots bad. Green dots good. What color are you?

Story organized by:
Natalia Panfilova, senior public relations major