Iowa State administration to decide to implement Green Dot program


Abigail Schafer/Iowa State Daily

Snow gently falls on campus, layering Lagomarcino’s courtyard on January 25. 1-3 inches fell overnight, and continued throughout the day.

Alison Boysen

The Green Dot program, which works to reduce violence in communities, focuses largely on bystander intervention and trains people on domestic violence and sexual assault. 

On Tuesday afternoon, a member involved in the program presented ways to decrease violence on Iowa State’s campus and invited administrators for an overview speech to educate themselves on the program.

Jazzmine Hudson, sexual misconduct prevention coordinator, brought in speaker Lea Hegge to inform administration about how Iowa State can implement the Green Dot program to reduce accounts of violences. The last campus climate survey showed that 10 percent of women on campus have experienced unwanted sexual interactions.

“This is real. This is not a made-up issue,” Hegge said.

Questions posed to the audience included: “What are we going to do right now to make sure these numbers are going down?,” “How do we change the culture norms?” and “Why haven’t we always intervened when we’ve seen something happen?” 

Hegge explained that everyone has “barriers” that prevent them from speaking up or doing something to prevent or stop violence. These barriers can be influenced by peers, cultural values, personal beliefs or values and general barriers. General barriers refer to bystander dynamics.

The program has three Ds: Direct intervention, Delegate and Distract.

Direct intervention means personally going up and stopping or preventing violence. Delegate means reaching out for someone else to end the dangerous situation. Distract means de-escalating a situation by distracting the aggressor with questions and noises.

“Our whole strategy isn’t about perfection; it’s about planning it out and thinking ahead,” Hegge said.

Lora Leigh Chrystal, director of Women in Science and Engineering, will begin implementing techniques by the Green Dot program in her classes and other activities.

“I’m going to weave it somehow into my comments and add it to some of my talks,” Chrystal said.

She also spoke about how she would like to see Iowa State’s employees take this seriously: “If we want this to be sustainable we have to get the faculty on board.”

Others pledged to also begin having these conversations of ending violence.

One response echoed having a conversation about ending violence with their son and making sure he works to end the violence as well. Although their son is only 9, they pointed out that the conversation has to happen sometime.

Another administrator spoke about having a conversation about consent with her children, and another about sharing these same ideas in staff meetings and incorporating them with other students.

Hudson and her team have spent nearly a year doing research on which organizations to bring to Iowa State so the violence rates decrease. Hudson has a background with the Green Dot program, having completed its training in 2013.

There were many reasons why the Green Dot program was chosen to be presented to Iowa State as a solution to violence rates.

“[The Green Dot program] allows it to be an umbrella to continue programs (ongoing violence prevention programs), comprehensively address violence and valuation data evidence,”Hudson said, referring to the 17 percent decrease in violences in colleges that have used the program.

Hudson has stressed that implementing this program requires monetary support and support from administration.