Friday, April 19, 2013

Green Dot Week feature events, panel discussion on Steubenville

By Stephanie Beckman, News Writer

A Green Dot is an act of prevention when a bystander that stops power-based personal violence. The program is celebrating its third year on campus after being launched in fall 2010 with its first educating and advocacy week.

Green Dot’s development began in March 2009 after Dorothy Edwards, creator of Green Dot, began her work at the University of Kentucky. There are eight universities in Washington which use Green Dot, including the University of Washington, Central Washington University and Whitman College.
   
Jonathan Grove, men’s project coordinator for Green Dot, has been with the program since its beginning on the Pacific Lutheran University campus.
   
He said the program is significantly different from other violence prevention programs because “we’re not going to focus on perpetrators or victims. We’re going to talk about everyone else that’s around those scenarios, those situations, who can do something, which is everyone.”  
   
Green Dot week commenced on Monday at chapel with speeches from Green Dot intern junior Kelsey Greer, and the Rev. Dennis Sepper, co-chair of the Green Dot Coalition. The purpose and need for the Green Dot program was the subject of the chapel.
   
“What we were talking about is how important bystander intervention is and how much of a role it plays in reducing violence,” Greer said. “So we talked about the statistics that one in four women who attend college can be victims [of sexual assault].”
   
From Wednesday through Thursday, Green Dot tabled in the Anderson University Center, offering Green Dot themed trivia and prizes. A panel bookended the weekend, featuring Grove, Assistant Professor of Sociology Kate Luther and Resident Director for Stuen and Ordal Mercy Daramola, who discussed the Steubenville, Ohio rape case.
   
Steubenville gained international attention after two boys on their high school’s football team raped a 16-year-old girl. The incident garnered more attention when some speculated the police covered up the incident.    
   
Much of the discussion at the panel revolved around how the media was biased in their coverage of the story. Daramola said it’s difficult for people to say there are certain crimes that deserve certain actions.
   
If a rape happens to a good person, Daramola said “how can you reconcile that in your mind? So you have to find a way to say ‘okay she was a bad person’ or ‘the victim was a bad person’ therefore this happened.”
   
Green Dot has many forms through which students can empower themselves to take a stand and engage as a bystander.
   
The program is hosting part one of its bystander skills class today at 3:30 p.m. and part two tomorrow at 10 a.m. in the Hauge Administration Building. More information can be found in the Women’s Center.