This week the BJC hosted an Overview Talk of the new UVA initiative Green Dot. two third-year student leaders and Nicole Thomas, the new Prevention Coordinator in the Office of the Dean of Students introduced the new program and facilitated the discussion. The Green Dot awareness program aims to encourage bystander intervention in order reduce acts of violence on Grounds, often referred to as "Red Dot" situations. Nearly a dozen students attended the talk, which focused on identifying the importance of creating new norms that “violence is not okay and will not be tolerated” on our Grounds.
The Overview Talk was personal for me, as I am active in the sexual assault advocacy community through Take Back the Night, and one of my undergraduate majors, Women’s Studies. The main objective of Green Dot is to encourage students to proactively, and retroactively as needed, diffuse Red Dot situations and eliminate the social acceptance of Red Dot behaviors.
Looking at a map of Grounds filled with green dots superimposed onto red dots, I found myself feeling thankful for the positive, safe environment provided by Hillel staff at the Brody Jewish Center. Next steps include extending this feeling of community and safety to all of Grounds. I realize now, as a fourth year, how integral the wonderful, secure community of Hillel has been for me throughout college.
Moving forward, I hope you will keep an eye out – we will host a separate Ask Big Questions discussion on the intersection of Judaism, communal responsibility, and bystander intervention on Grounds later this semester!
Class of 2015