Green Dot training is just the beginning

Green Dot training is useful for faculty, staff and students across campus to learn about and show intolerance for power-based personal violence. But what comes after the training?

That is where October's Green Dot Action Month takes the baton to ensure ideas taught during training are reinforced throughout the year, even years after the initial training. It focuses on proactive efforts to prevent violence and includes wearing green clothing and posting messages on social media.

Show Green Dot in action

Carrie Giese asks individuals and groups who are taking part in Green Dot Action Month to record their proactive efforts by filling out a short online participation form. Have questions about anything Green Dot? Email Giese.

"Action month is a way to mobilize groups and individuals on campus to do those proactive green dots," said Carrie Giese, student wellness violence prevention and community engagement coordinator. "It is designed to energize the campus community and support it around Green Dot."

Scrolling through social media this month, you are likely to see several colleges posting pictures of department and unit employees wearing green to show their support. Thielen Student Health Center used green Band-Aids during its flu shot clinic, and the fraternity Alpha Kappa Lambda is hosting a green eggs, ham and pancake breakfast where members will distribute information about Green Dot. An academic department also is spreading the word with the first slide of each lecture this month dedicated to violence prevention information.

Small things like wearing a Green Dot pin or including Green Dot training options in an email signature can have a big impact, Giese said. Action month allows groups to come up with ideas that are authentic and useful for them and their audience. Having faculty and staff model the behavior can be impactful for students.

"Students often look to faculty and staff within their department for leadership, so it shows that this initiative is for everyone, not just students," Giese said. "We also know power-based personal violence doesn't just happen in the student community; it is for the ISU community."

Green Dot training

Giese described Green Dot training as an introduction to a lifelong conversation about how to be an active bystander and how to prevent power-based personal violence like stalking, sexual assault and dating violence.

There are three kinds of training, beginning with a Green Dot overview, a 60-minute introduction. It focuses on bystander intervention, generating campus buy in, and begins the process of behavioral change.

Bystander training is available to anyone who has completed the overview. The three-hour program consists of lecture, individual reflection, small group interaction and activities. Different scenarios are presented through a bystander lens as participants work to determine effective proactive and reactive strategies.

Green Dot enhancement acts as a booster session for anyone who has completed the overview or bystander training. The hour sessions are recommended annually and build on previous lessons.

"The overview session is not a checked box, it is a launch," Giese said. "The enhancement sessions talk about what has changed since taking the training and how you are implementing proactive and reactive green dots."

Giese said a significant percentage of the ISU population has completed at least the overview training. Training is conducted by the Green Dot Campus Team -- composed of faculty and staff -- and can be requested for individual or group sessions.

Growing reach

Green Dot's impact continues to grow. Destination Iowa State included Green Dot training for the first time this fall. New Cyclones received a student-tailored overview of the program and its goals. The Green Dot Trot kicked off Green Dot Action Month on Oct. 1 with a 4K run/walk that encouraged a donation to SHOP, the student-run food pantry.

Student Wellness also is in the process of adding another staff member to serve as the Green Dot coordinator.