Culture against sexual violence examined at Green Dot presentation

Anna Giubileo, Staff Reporter

In light of movements such as #MeToo gaining momentum in society, college organizations such as Green Dot have become ever more visible and important in promoting a culture against sexual violence.

The Green Dot program focuses on improving awareness and involvement for efforts pushing against power-based personal violence on Case Western Reserve University’s campus. This includes stalking, relationship violence, sexual assault and other forms of harassment.

Coordinator of Programming in the Center for International Affairs Cami Ross is very passionate about the Green Dot Initiative. “A lot of people will ask me why I host these presentations; they expect someone from the Office for Title IX or Diversity,” she said. “But to them I say that the issues Green Dot looks at concerns everyone.”

When asked why she takes the time out of her busy schedule to speak about Green Dot to students and faculty, Ross said, “I was involved in a power-based personal issue in my undergraduate years at a different university, and I want to make sure that other students can get the support and resources I didn’t.”

Chemistry department faculty member Yasmine Ruiz-Patterson said she attended the Green Dot presentation after a coworker recommended it to her. “I wanted to learn how to help any students that might come to my office with these problems,” she said.

Though she might not be a counselor or work in the Title IX office, Ruiz-Patterson recognizes that “we all have a role to play” in the realm of Green Dot.

One of the main takeaways from the presentation was the importance of the three skills “distract, delegate, direct,” which are methods one can use when faced with a “Green Dot” situation. The presentation elaborated further on these elements: “distract” the perpetrator, “delegate” the responsibility of diffusing the situation to someone better prepared or “directly” confront the perpetrator or victim in an effort to cease being a passive bystander and become someone who works for change.

When people start to get more involved with the movement, changes in societal perception will likely be tangible. The presentation emphasized that no action will mobilize unless everyone gets involved.

“This is not something that can fall onto the shoulders of one person, we all must help out,” Ross explained. “The point of Green Dot is to create a safer, more inclusive campus where everyone is involved.”

At the end of her presentation, Ross left the crowd with a question: “When people walk into your space, how will they know your Green Dot values?”

How can you live your life so others know that you are committed to working towards spreading the values of safety and inclusivity found within the Green Dot program?