Green Dot Action Month promotes violence prevention on campus


Iowa State departments and organizations will promote bystander intervention and violence prevention throughout October for Green Dot Action Month. 

Haley Thams

Trigger warning: personal violence

October is Green Dot Action Month at Iowa State, a month dedicated to preventing power-based personal violence. Students can show awareness throughout October by joining a group on campus. 

Green Dot continues on campus year-round and the month of October serves to heighten awareness about the program. 

Power-based personal violence is any form of interpersonal violence intended to control someone by asserting power over them. This includes stalking, threats, harassment, sexual assault and any form of intimidation over another person. 

Green Dot’s focus is to create a safe environment for students to flourish through prevention strategies. 

Carrie Giese, the health promotions coordinator for Green Dot, has been involved with the program for almost 15 years. 

“I’ve seen [Green Dot] from its infancy, to how it’s really evolved. I really love how it meets folks exactly where they’re at and helps them contribute to a community that is safe,” Giese said. 

Any student on campus is able to get involved in Green Dot. 

“I feel it is extremely inclusive, and there’s a seat at the table or a role for each and every single person within the community to actively participate at the level that they’re comfortable with to prevent power-based personal violence from occurring on campus,” Giese said.

Green Dot is a way for students to have an active role in their community. It teaches bystanders how to intervene in a safe way to prevent incidents of harm. 

Students are able to sign up for bystander training, overview or proactive and reactive green dots all year round. 

Students can show involvement and awareness of Green Dot Action Month by wearing the color green throughout October and using the hashtag #GreenDotActionMonth. 

Creating a safe environment for students to do well academically and socially is a priority, according to Giese. Positive student and staff actions can create supportive campus conditions and a strong community. 

Giese said student wellness can be achieved by continuously spreading awareness about safety.

Every student on campus has the potential to prevent any occurrence of harm. Green Dot is an essential part of Iowa State’s strategic plan to aid in preventative measures. 

The skills students learn in joining Green Dot are not only applied to Iowa State’s campus, but throughout the rest of their lives. 

“These [skills] are specific to college students, but are very adaptable for when folks graduate and go out into the workforce. These are life skills that students experience that ISU will help them carry forward,” Giese said. 

“No one has to do everything, but everyone has to do something,” said Dorothy Edwards, creator and founder of Green Dot. 

Students who are feeling immediately unsafe should contact the ISU Police Department at (515) 294-4428. 

Other resources for students: