Campus News

Saint Leo Goes Green

green-dot

Amanda Markiewicb (left) and Aubrey Hall (right) encourage students to take action in preventing the threat of violence in the Saint Leo community. (Photo courtesy of Amanda Markiewicb)

In many college communities, there are students who don’t feel safe or comfortable with other people around them. This is one of the reasons that the Green Dot organization was founded, to prevent violence and to make students and faculty feel safer in their communities.

The Green Dot Bystander Intervention Program was founded by Dr. Dorothy Edwards, the former director of Violence Intervention and Prevention at the University of Kentucky, and aims to end or reduce the amount of violence found on university campuses. On Green Dot’s website, Edwards explains why the program is so important.

“For whatever reasons — I have chosen to define my humanity by my connection to this issue. If my soul is not broken — if I am not horrified daily by yet another story — if one in three women being brutalized on my campus, in my country, in my world does not keep me awake at night and shock my sensibilities…what will? What else is there? I am here because the day I am not here — is the day this insanity has beaten me. Even as a victim myself — even as my soul bleeds for my beautiful daughter – I am here in defiant resistance to the premise that these staggering rates of violence are inevitable,” she stated

The Green Dot organization is slowly being introduced throughout the United States and internationally. Currently, there are only about four schools in Florida who have implemented Green Dot on their campuses. One of the most positive outcomes of implementing Green Dot onto university campuses is the reduction of violence found in the surrounding area. According to a study funded by the CDC, there has been a 50% reduction rate of violence in high schools that have initiated the Green Dot program.

Aubrey Hall and Amanda Markiewicb, representatives of Green Dot, have recently been making the program’s presence known to the Saint Leo community. By hosting a number of events, such as

Bingo, Green Dot representatives have been able to interact with the students and even presented prizes to those who participated. Green Dot also plans to work with student organizations and clubs to implement bystander training. The goal is to help students and faculty recognize potentially dangerous situations or behaviors and inform them of the necessary actions needed to protect themselves and others around them and to keep incidences of violence from reoccurring.

Green Dot is currently offering internships to interested students. Students and faculty who would like to know more about Green Dot or would like to get involved are encouraged to contact them at green.dot@saintleo.edu

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