By Krystal Sidzyik, Entertainment Editor
UNO will launch a new program on campus this fall called Green Dot that focuses on the power of peer influence.
Green Dot is a nationwide approach to reducing violence. Developed by Dr. Dorothy Edwards at the University of Kentucky, Green Dot is based on a prevention strategy that focuses on the bystander in a violence situation instead of the victims and perpetrators. The UNO task force, Voices Against Violence, has worked to bring the Green Dot program to campus for more than a year.
“Green Dot was chosen because it is based upon research from a variety of different fields and has the research of the social diffusion theory, branding and the field of prevention to support its program,” Emily Nguyen said, Education and Prevention Manager for the Women’s Center for Advancement.
The program uses a red dot to represent behavior such as threats, bullying, stalking, sexual violence and partner violence. Green dots signify any behavior, choice, word or attitude that promotes safety for everyone. Green Dot encourages a community wide response that equips bystanders with the tools to direct, distract or delegate a situation.
“[Green Dot] encourages individuals to have an intolerance for violence (red dots) and to step up, in a way that is comfortable and suits them, and prevent those red dots from happening,” Christy Quick said, Green Dot and Students Affairs Graduate Assistant.
Green Dot has been unveiled to incoming freshman through overview speeches, but the official unveiling will be when students return to class.
“We are giving presentations for many different organizations on campus and we will also be doing talks in First Year Experience classes. We really want to get this out to students in as many different facets as we can,” Quick said. “We even have an office here on campus that people can go to just for Green Dot located in the Counseling Center.”
There will also be a booth set up outside of the Milo Bail Student Center to help get the attention of students and spread the word about Green Dot.
“No matter what level you’re personally at, it can work for you. You don’t have to change your life to fit Green Dot, it fits you,” Quick said. “It addresses any obstacles people might face when deciding whether or not to intervene and it gives you, not only good options, but realistic ones to use when in those situations.”
Quick hopes to see the program implemented everywhere on campus because it’s such an adaptable program.
“We have people we love that we can’t protect all the time,” Quick said. “But the majority of the time, bystanders are there and this program empowers them to help.”