Title IX updates, Green Dot program to prevent violence

By: Grace McCormick – Staff Writer

The University of Dayton released updates to the Title IX document in an email to the UD community on Nov. 14, sent by David Sipusic, Title IX/Section 504 Coordinator and Equity Compliance Officer at UD.

Title IX, as briefly explained in the email, is the university’s nondiscrimination and anti-harassment policy. Updates include “accommodations if the parties cannot be in the same room with each other during a hearing or when a party needs a modification to be able to participate in the process.”

It goes on further stating, “Title IX Coordinator will ensure and document the implementation of steps identified to prevent recurrence of the harassment and remedy the discriminatory effects on the complainant and others, as appropriate.”

A more detailed list of the updates and explanations can be found in the email and online at go.udayton.edu/nondiscrimination.

Kristen Altenau, the sexual violence prevention education coordinator at UD, said the changes were necessary because “they come from Congress, more specifically the Office of Civil Rights, and they are national regulations in which schools are accountable to follow.”

Title IX, often times intimidating to college students because of its difficult content, can be better understood by visiting knowyourix.org.

“Overall, students are excited and looking for ways to prevent violence and our programs offer that education,” Altenau said.

While the Title IX document is expanding nationally, the Green Dot program is expanding and taking off as well, partly in response to the release of the department of public safety’s “Campus Security and Fire Safety Report,” which discloses information regarding campus crime and safety from the three previous calendar years, and can be reviewed at www.udayton.edu/publicsafety/campus_crime_reporting.

The Green Dot program, which came to campus last academic year, is designed to educate students about the dangers of sexual violence and how to intervene in order to prevent those situations.

“The model targets all community members as potential bystanders, and seeks to engage them, through awareness, education, and skills practice, in proactive behaviors that establish intolerance of violence,” according to UD’s website.

A national program, The Green Dot Strategy was founded by Dorothy Edwards, originating in the United Kingdom less than 10 years ago, Altenau said. It was a huge success, so a four-day certification became available for other universities to launch the program on their campuses.

Altenau said the program offers separate presentations for every freshman floor called “Red Zone”; other presentations are given around the school on issues such as cultural media, and self-defense classes are offered.

Sarah Healy, junior sports management major, is a peer educator with the Green Dot program.

“I wanted to get more involved to help current and new students realize that even one person experiencing this [sexual violence] is too many and that it does happen even on a campus as safe as ours,” she said.

Healy said she gives Red Zone talks to every first-year floor where they discuss consent and how to handle certain situations should they arise.

In addition to Red Zone talks, the Green Dot program also hosts speakers, Green Dot training sessions and events such as Take Back the Night.

Altenau said Take Back the Night is an event offered in the spring on campus; this year’s will take place Monday, March 30, at 8 p.m. Survivors of sexual violence march from the Humanities building to ArtStreet through the student neighborhood. It starts out silent and then works up to a chant. Last spring students shouted, “shatter the silence.”

“The goals of the program are to find a solution to the red dots [violence] with green dots. Violence will not be tolerated at the University of Dayton, so everyone has to do something,” Altenau said.

Altenau said 100 percent of students who have gone through the seven-hour training program have gone on to use the techniques. She said there are currently 342 Green Dot graduates, so the community is responding to it well. The Green Dot graduates consist of faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students.

“I think it has taken off so well because faculty and students now have the power to do something with techniques learned in the training sessions,” Altenau said.

Colleen McDaniel, sophomore psychology and women and gender studies major, is a graduate and peer educator. She said her best memory since being involved in the program came when she was giving a Red Zone talk to a male floor: One of the students kept interrupting and making jokes while she was presenting, however, he ended up coming up to her at the end and is planning on joining the team in the spring.

“I guess it was that feeling of reaching out to someone who we felt did not want to hear us, and then realizing that somehow we were able to inspire him to get involved,” McDaniel said.