The bystander intervention program Green Dot was officially introduced to the UCF campus last week, and this weekend, UCF will unite with institutions around the country to train people to prevent violence.
Green Dot is a national curriculum that teaches people how to safely intervene in dangerous situations. The program was launched at UCF last week with a party in front of the Student Union, where an SUV wrapped in Green Dot logos and messaging also was unveiled.
Sunday, Sept. 18, is National Green Dot Day of Action, and UCF will observe the day by hosting two training courses.
In its pilot year at UCF, Green Dot is training student-leaders from Fraternity & Sorority Life, Student Government Association and LEAD Scholars to deliver the Green Dot message to other students.
Sunday’s training will be a deeper dive into Green Dot for these students. Over time, the program will branch out to additional peer influencers.
Samantha Vega, the Green Dot coordinator at UCF, has been working behind the scenes on Green Dot for the last several months and is happy to see the program being implemented.
“It is exciting to know there are so many students, faculty and staff members excited about the program,” Vega said. “I think it makes UCF feel safer and allows for Knights to feel like someone in their community will intervene should they ever be in dangerous situation.”
Green Dot teaches people how to safely step in using the three D’s: Direct for directly approaching the situation, Delegate for calling for help, and Distract for taking attention away from a potentially dangerous situation.
The program has been implemented at high school and college campuses across the country to create a culture change and reduce acts of violence.
“My hope is that people begin to realize the power they have to help a fellow Knight,” Vega said. “We often fall into the bystander effect, where we assume someone else will jump in and in reality that someone is us. Giving students, staff, and faculty this power will only make our community safer.”
To learn more about Green Dot, go to https://alteristic.org/.