April 25, 2018
In February, Albion College’s Division of Student Affairs received a $25,300 grant from the Michigan State Police Campus Sexual Assault Grant Program. The grant will fund the implementation of the Green Dot Bystander Intervention Program at Albion College.
Established in 2006 at the University of Kentucky, the Green Dot Bystander Intervention Program is a comprehensive, research-based approach to reducing sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking on college campuses. The program trains students to recognize and intervene in situations where interpersonal violence may occur, a tactic known as bystander intervention. Green Dot has been adapted for use by the U.S. Air Force and has been recognized as a Promising Program for violence prevention by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Campus Sexual Assault Grant Program was established in 2016 by Michigan First Lady Sue Snyder, in partnership with the Michigan State Police, as part of Snyder’s “Inform. Empower. Prevent. Let’s End Campus Sexual Assault” initiative. The purpose of the grant program is to fund efforts to reduce sexual assault at Michigan colleges and universities.
“We’re thankful for the support from the Michigan State Police. Because of the grant, we can implement the nationally recognized Green Dot program on our campus,” said Chris Berry, who, as the College’s director for risk prevention and intervention, will lead the implementation effort. “Once the program is established through this funding, the College will be in a position to support the program into the future.”
The Campus Sexual Assault Grant Program has funded two other projects at Albion College. One grant was used to establish a protocol between the College, local law enforcement agencies and community organizations for supporting students who have been sexually assaulted, while a second grant funded the establishment of the College’s True Man Coalition, a group of male students focused on hypermasculinity and its role in sexual assault and gender-based violence.
The current grant is part of a targeted round of funding for innovative bystander intervention programs. This summer, Green Dot will conduct a four-day training for a group of Albion College faculty and staff, who will become facilitators of the program on campus. The faculty and staff facilitators will begin training students during the fall 2018 semester.
“There are two types of training for students that we will conduct,” Berry said. “Brief overview sessions will be added to our ongoing education efforts, including required training for first-year students and student-athletes. We will also offer regular in-depth training sessions for students who want to learn more.”
Jodie Bosheers, ’18, president of the College’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, said conversations have already begun about what sexual-assault prevention and bystander intervention looks like at Albion.
“Having the right tools to be able to help students feel empowered by their knowledge is key,” Bosheers said. “Programs like Green Dot are the very type of tools that can help students cultivate a culture of zero tolerance.”
Recruitment of students interested in the in-depth sessions is under way, and the College will host a launch event for students to learn more about the program during the fall.
“Bringing these proven bystander-intervention techniques to our campus, through dedicated training of students, faculty and staff, will enhance our ability to combat sexual assault and gender-based violence,” said Dr. Marc Roy, Albion College provost. “It also extends, necessarily, the conversations about topics many of us may feel hesitant to talk about. Sexual assault is an issue that needs to be faced and addressed directly by all of us, and Green Dot will better equip our campus community to do that.”