CWRU receives grant to work to reduce gender-based violence on campus

Case Western Reserve University will launch a nationally recognized violence prevention program this fall after securing a state grant supporting institutions’ efforts to change campus culture.

The program, called Green Dot, builds on earlier university education and training efforts designed to heighten awareness of ways that individuals can increase their own safety—as well as those that bystanders can execute to assist.

The university is hosting its first information session for faculty and staff at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, May 24, in Nord Hall, Room 410. A second session is scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday, June 2, in the same location. (Registration information is at the end of this article.)

Green Dot is a comprehensive program that seeks to engage campus community members, recognizing that everyone is a potential bystander to gender-based violence, and equip them with the skills to address situations from a bystander’s perspective. People at more than 250 colleges and universities—among them Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Washington University at St. Louis—have received its training to date. Green Dot also engages with schools, nonprofit organizations and government agencies.

Named to invoke the imagery of a map marked with individual red dots that tick off each community affected by a case of personal violence until the whole map glows, the Green Dot program aims to reverse that image. Instead, it seeks to saturate that map with green dots—each one representing a “behavior‚ choice‚ word‚ or attitude that promotes safety for all our citizens and communicates utter intolerance for violence.”

“Power-based personal violence is a concern for our community, as well as our campus. Our students are exposed to power-based personal violence; they see it, they experience it, they have loved ones who are affected by it,” Ali Martin Scoufield, investigator in the Office of Title IX at CWRU, said. “As educators, it is important that we are empowering students with multiple methods of addressing these issues with the hopes of reducing or eliminating power-based personal violence. “

By spreading awareness, providing education and teaching skills, the Green Dot program will help campus community members be proactive in high-risk situations.

According to the Green Dot website, the program grows from three main principles:

  • A single choice in one moment in time to use your voice, actions or choices to make one small corner of the world safer.
  • A shared vision that creates momentum through the power of a common language and purpose.
  • A social movement that harnesses the power of peer influence and individual bystander choices to create lasting culture change resulting in the ultimate reduction of power-based personal violence.

Implementing the program at Case Western Reserve will involve four key phases:

  • Training faculty, staff and administrators in the program;
  • Conducting workshops for students across campus;
  • Offering overview talks to introduce Green Dot to the general student population; and
  • Hosting action events and programs to mobilize the campus population.

In late July, the Office of Title IX will host a “Train-the-Trainer” certification conference, in which university community members, as well as representatives from area institutions, can become trained Green Dot educators.

Case Western Reserve University has six Green Dot educators now:

  • Luke Ahrens, coordinator of second-year residence education;
  • Amie Jackson, associate director for Greek Life;
  • Scoufield;
  • George O’Connell, director of the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards;
  • Alli Prelosky, assistant director of first-year experience and family programs; and
  • Kim Scott, Title IX investigator.

Two overview sessions will be held for faculty and staff to learn more about the program and provide input:

Both sessions will be held in Nord Hall, Room 410.

“Green Dot could be a unifying element to our campus and it could change our campus culture around personal violence,” Scoufield said. “That is what I hope the impact will be—that our campus culture will change and students will lead that change toward advocacy and support.”

Learn more about the Green Dot program at