Green Dot takes a stand against violence


The Green Dot program provides information about violence among students. For more information on Green Dot, students can seek out the program’s office located in the Washington Building G40. 

As students settle into classes and prepare for spring, members of the Green Dot program also prepare their bystander trainings and other activities for the upcoming semester.

Green Dot is one of the Violence Prevention Programs WSU offers, where students learn to promote safety and communicate intolerance for violence through behavior‚ choice‚ word‚ and attitude.

Located on the ground level of the Washington Building, students are welcome to attend bystander training, where they learn how to bring rates of violence down and openly talk about gender-based violence in a comfortable environment.

Violence Prevention Coordinator Nikki Finnestead started as a Green Dot advocate and has been involved with the program for 10 years.

“It is very important to talk about gender-based violence,” Finnestead said. “Green Dot is a really practical way to talk to students and effect change.”

V-Day graduate assistant Sam Munson works in another Violence Prevention Program that shares office space with the program. She said she believes being a part of a violence prevention program is an opportunity to help raise awareness and heighten student knowledge on campus.

The main goal of the Violence Prevention Programs is to shift campus norms that condone and contribute to gender-based violence, and Green Dot helps serve this goal.

Finnestead said students should know about Green Dot so they are able to recognize events for sexual assault and feel like they have a voice to do something before these events occur.

“It’s a cool way for students to be involved on campus and be involved in making their campus safer instead of being influenced by what’s happening around them,” said Courtney Morris, undergraduate student assistant.

Students can sign up for eight bystander trainings this semester, which are scheduled to start in February. The first two trainings will take place Feb. 8 and 9.

The bystander trainings consist of learning how to be proactive, interactive in-group activities, and helping students speak to each other to understand gender-based violence.

As the only full-time staff member for the Violence Prevention Programs, resources are continually a challenge for Finnestead, but she receives help from several assistants, volunteers, other groups on campus, and grant funding.

Although the grant funding for the Violence Prevention Programs will end in September, Finnestead said she is exploring other avenues to keep the program going.

Green Dot also is supported by positive feedback from students that attend the training.

“After students attend a bystander training, it is overwhelmingly positive. It’s an easy way for students to feel connected and recognize that violence is an issue on this campus,” Finnestead said. “Students come up to me and have conversations about how they did a Green Dot.”

Besides the bystander trainings, there are other events and activities that students can attend that count as ‘Green Dots.’

Last year, the Green Dot program included a film series where students were invited to watch movies that focused on traditional gender role expectations and connected violence, gender, race, and sexuality. The films were then followed by a group discussion for students to reflect on the film.

Bystander training dates and dates for the film series can be obtained by calling the Green Dot office at 509-335-3575.