Our guest blogger this week is Sarah Beth Estes, associate professor of sociology and trained Green Dot instructor.
This week, UALR launches the Green Dot anti-violence program, focused on the prevention of power-based personal violence, including sexual assault, intimate partner abuse, stalking, and harassment/bullying. The strength of the program lies in bystander behavior. It teaches us to move from simply “standing by” to actively recognizing signs of violence and learning safe ways to intervene in potentially violent situations.
The motto of the Green Dot program is “no one has to do everything; everyone has to do something.” The UALR community has exemplified this motto since the Chancellor put the weight of his office behind this initiative in late fall 2011.
In the last week of classes of the spring semester in 2012, fifty faculty and staff from almost every college and major unit on campus — including Housing, Public Safety, Athletics, Health Services, Student Services, and Student Success — attended an intensive four- day training in the Green Dot violence prevention method. As we know, the last week of the semester is a challenging time for everyone — students, faculty, and staff alike. Attending the training at that time meant these folks had to scramble exceptionally hard to find ways to meet their intensive work obligations while also dedicating themselves to learning about this new program. Since that time, five work groups have met repeatedly to adapt the Green Dot program to our campus.
It’s important to recognize that all of this was volunteer work. None of this appears in anyone’s job description. Dedication to this program has come from the heart. I have been amazed at the commitment of the members of the university community to this program.
As we organized this program, we had to ask for a lot. We needed people’s time, we needed funding, we needed in-kind services. UALR faculty and staff gave. They gave and gave and gave. No one said “no.” No one said, “This isn’t important,” or “I don’t care.” Instead, people gave of their time, their program resources, their intellectual energy.
Not surprisingly, UALR community members have lots of idea–ideas about how we can involve our community members through film series, art exhibits, and gaming on mobile devices, to name only a few.
The Green Dot program presumes that individuals don’t experience or prevent violence on their own — that in fact, the community in which we’re embedded can organize to be intolerant to violence. This campus community has spent 14 months doing exactly this, demonstrating that at UALR, we look out for each other. Please join us. Find out how here.