Green shirt, green balloons, green dots, and what’s a hockey game without a green puck? It was a “green-out” at Connecticut College’s hockey game Saturday night.
“The whole idea of green dots is no one has to do everything, but everyone has to do something,” said Darcie Folsom, director of sexual violence prevention and advocacy on campus.
The Green Dot is the college’s bystander intervention program in which students, faculty and staff work to prevent sexual violence through directing, distracting or delegating any situation.
Saturday night the hockey team took on a much larger role than playing the game, also promoting the idea behind the cause.
“When we sort of put our foot down and say that we want to make our campus a safer place, we feel as though our presence can lead others to join our group. Overall we’re just trying to build a safer campus,” said hockey player Kevin Reich.
A safer college campus includes preventative measures like integrating prevention and response training into the campus culture, in hopes of creating an overall culture change.
“People are starting to work toward eradicating that issue and working toward education and awareness, and that’s how they’re going to solve the problem,” said senior Jackson Murphy.
Many campuses across the country have been working diligently to create a safer environment for students, especially after allegations of sexual assault arose from former and current students at the University of Connecticut.
In the wake of a lawsuit, state lawmakers have scheduled a public hearing on Tuesday about legislation that would improve policies of sex assault and the ways schools report it.
“Connecticut college students really think it’s critical that our legislators in Washington D.C. are talking about and making sexual assaults on college campuses an issue that’s on the forefront,” said senior Alia Roth.
School leaders say in 2012 there were 12 incidents of sexual assault reported at the college. It’s a higher than normal number, but they don’t attribute that to more violence. They attribute that to more awareness.
“It’s a problem on college campuses all across the country, so the more we can talk about it, the more we can make a significant culture change, the better,” said Folsom.