Wednesday concluded UVA’s first Green Dot Week, a week designed to spread awareness and increase participation in the program. The program first launched last January and offers bystander trainings to help students and faculty gain the tools necessary to intervene in problem situations.
Green Dot’s mission statement is to enact a culture shift where personal-based power violence is not tolerated, and every member of the community does their part to make it safer. Evidence of the culture shift at UVA has already been demonstrated, and the program is looking forward to more growth this semester.
Francesca Tripodi, PhD intern with the Office of the Dean of Students, took up the job of coordinating Green Dot, and commented on the response from students during Green Dot Week.
“During Green Dot Week we had an interactive map up in Newcomb, and while I was tabling and asking people to add their dot, people weren’t asking me what Green Dot was anymore, and were generally supportive of the program,” said Tripodi. “In the bystander trainings that first-years have attended, they talk a lot about how first-year cohort has made Green Dot lingo a part of their colloquial language.”
Green Dot’s goals for this semester are to fill all of their bystander trainingsand to fill the upcoming Green Dot Institute. The Green Dot Institute provides the opportunity to students who have already been trained or have signed up for a training to be certified to deliver content to their fellow students. Long-term, the program hopes to have the critical mass of the UVA student body bystander trained and to continue to increase the number of people qualified to deliver content so the need for trainings can be met.
“Ultimately, the goal is for the program to be obsolete,” said Tripodi. “One day it will be part of the expected norms here, like honor, and everyone will be expected to do their part.”
After being trained, students can sign up to be Campus Ambassadors and recruit other students to get involved in the program. Green Dot hopes to continue to provide avenues for students who have been trained to continue their involvement with the initiative.
“Instead of just thinking about how it is important to share the idea of being an active bystander and encouraging a safer UVA community, I now feel an excitement and a commitment to making this change in the UVA community,” said second-year student and Campus Ambassador, Sara Calder. “I actively talk with my friends and strangers alike about Green Dot at practices, meetings, and parties because I want other to feel enabled and excited to make UVA a better place.”