Students take part in interactive activities about violence prevention through Green Dot


Ames Police Officer Eric Snyder, ISUPD officer Anthony Greiter and chief Michael Newton man a display promoting their ‘Start by Believing’ campaign against sexual assault at the Green Dot launch on Sept. 27.

Grace Ekema

Students gathered in the Agora on Wednesday to learn more about new bystander intervention Green Dot.

The first person to greet students when entering the area was Mark Rowe-Barth, the director of Student Wellness. Rowe-Barth went through the faculty training this last summer to be a Green Dot facilitator and is a huge supporter of the new campus program.

“We all have a role to play,” Rowe-Barth said, emphasizing why students should learn about violence on the campus and try to reduce the “red dots,” which are negative situations that could cause a dangerous situation. 

The team of Green Dot facilitators were scattered around the many different booths to help guide students along through the event’s set up. Many other Iowa State organizations were present at the launch, including the Peer Wellness Educators, International Students and Scholars Office and the ISU Police Department. Cy also made a guest appearance to take pictures with students. 

“Violence affects everyone,” said Natasha Greene, engagement and inclusion officer for ISU Police. The officers work towards a more diverse and inclusive environment on campus. “Our goal is build trust and to support,” Greene said.

Madeline Ryan, a sophomore in graphic design and Peer Wellness Educator, took part in encouraging students to take pictures and post them on social media with the Green Dot tags and hashtags.

“Learning how to teach others in our daily lives is an amazing experience,” Ryan said.

Ryan plans to continue to volunteer and hopes students consider to take part in the bystander training as she did.

“Keep an open mind and it will challenge you in a good way,” Ryan said.

Rowe-Barth said he hopes the program expands in the future.

“When a family is visiting campus and sees a Green Dot flyer, we want people to know that Iowa State is a Green Dot campus,” Rowe-Barth said. “We need to continue the push to reduce incidents and work towards changing our culture.” 

Booths at the event had different themes and activities. The incentive to go to each of these booths were punch cards, that when completed, could earn a t-shirt, button or other Green Dot item. Booths also gave out tickets to students to enter into different raffles to win themed baskets full of a variety of goodies.

Julie Snyder-Yuly, member of the Green Dot crew, took part in educating the students and participants on red dots at the first booth.

“What can we do to stop these red dot actions?” Snyder-Yuly asked attendees when posing situations that could lead to something more dangerous.

Seth Miller, facilitator for Green Dot, was at the second booth and talked about why bystanders might not help a situation. His station had a brick wall where students could write what would stop them from intervening in an uncomfortable situation.

Miller said that the Green Dot program only plans to get bigger from this point.

“We want to get the word out,” Miller said.

The fourth booth focused on the 3D’s: Direct, Delegate and Distract. These all have to do with how bystanders make the choice on whether or not to step into a situation. This activity used a giant Jenga set and gave the students the opportunity to express which of the 3 D’s they would use in a given situation.

The last two booths dealt with eradicating red dots and what proactive green dots are. Various scenarios were given to the participants and they had the opportunity to talk through what they would do to be proactive. The interactive activities included giant bowling and writing on a green dot sticker on how you would continue being proactive on campus and then putting the sticker on a large “I.”

Rachel Origer, sophomore in civil engineering, heard about Green Dot through her involvement in Student Government.

“I’m excited to hear more about Green Dot through Student Government,” Origer said after going through the booths.

Julia Mullenback, freshman in Animal Science said that she would be telling her friends.

“We want to help people know about Green Dot,” Rowe-Barth said on the future goals of the program. “It’s about launching our message and getting more people to go through the bystander training to learn more. This is the way we can make a difference on campus.”

If you missed the Green Dot launch, more information about the program is on the Iowa State Green Dot page.

The page has more information on the program itself, the members of the program on campus as well as information about bystander training. The training will open this November.

The social media and contact information can also be found on that page.