Green Dot bystander intervention program takes over campus sidewalks in social media with awareness campaign


Though leaves on campus may be losing their color as the season begins to change, campus as a whole is still turning green.

Last night, the student coordinating committee for Green Dot kicked off their campaign to bring bystander intervention to DePauw by hanging up posters and chalking green dots on sidewalks all over campus

“We’re trying to show DePauw that we’re done with this red dot nonsense, and to become more of a green campus,” senior and member of the Green Dot coordinating committee Katie Gozdecki said.

Formed late last semester, the student committee, along with the Green Dot training team, made up of Dorian Shager, Sarah Ryan, Jeanette-Johnson-Licon, Vince Greer and Wendy Wippich, is using this campaign to promote awareness about Green Dot’s cause and to encourage more students to sign up for the Green Dot training sessions.

In these training sessions, students learn the difference between a red dot, or  “anything you don’t want to see happen to your friends,” according to Gozdecki, and being a proactive bystander—a green dot.

“It’s something that’s been talked about at different times on our campus, but now we’re going full scale,” Shager said. “We’re offering training and detailed ways to do bystander intervention and make it part of our campus culture.”

The schedule for the week is simple, with the focus being placed on getting the word out. Today, Tuesday, there will be green dots hidden all over campus, with prizes for those who find them. Wednesday is the first-year bystander intervention program interACT, now in it’s second year. Thursday, the Hub will serve an all-green meal for dinner.

“Dr. Seuss and Green Dot come together,” senior CJ Cazee joked about Thursday’s dinner.

Shager calls this a student-led initiative that’s taking place under the umbrella of Student Life. Even of those 15 students on the coordinating committee there is no real hierarchy—no one definable “leader”—which mirrors the way the Green Dot program goes about effecting change.

“We’ve done campaigns with the university where we’re doing things top down, but this is more through grassroots and by the students,” Cazee said.

During the summer, around 25 faculty and staff members were trained through Green Dot in a four-day program. Those who went through this training are now able to train students, and in the week since the semester began, around 35 students have been trained in the two training programs that have taken place.

The student training programs last six hours. While time-consuming, senior Emma Peacha believes they’re more than worthwhile.

“We listened to a lot of speaking and did some fun games and activities,” she said. “They made it fun for a very difficult topic.”

Green Dot began with Dorothy Edwards at the University of Kentucky. According to a study by Ann Coker at University of Kentucky’s Center for Research on Violence Against Women, it was found that Kentucky high school’s using the Green Dot preventative method led to a 50 percent reduction in “the self-reported frequency of sexual violence” (

The success of Green Dot on other campuses makes Shager and students on the coordinating committee hopeful that this program can make a difference to DePauw’s relationship with power-based violence, and they believe that the more students are trained the bigger the difference will be. More training sessions will be occurring on Sept. 26, Oct. 20 and Nov. 7. Student organizations and Greek chapters can also sign up for organization-specific trainings.

“We’ll do as many as students want,” Shager said.

To learn more about Green Dot, and to stay updated on the week’s events, follow @DePauwGreenDot on Twitter and Instagram, and add them on Facebook. For more information email or visit their newly launched page on DePauw’s website under Student Life.

“Our goal for the week is to get more people to sign up for training, but we also want people to accept and embrace this concept,” Gozdecki said.