UTM officially launched the Green Dot initiative last week. Information booths were set up in the Davis Building, the Instructional Centre, the CCT-library link, the North Building, and Oscar Peterson Hall.
According to an email from Deep Saini, the vice-president and principal of UTM, the Green Dot program is “an education and awareness initiative designed to reduce power-based personal violence by encouraging bystanders to take action or to support persons who may have been harmed, threatened, or harassed”.
U of T’s webpage on the Green Dot initiative says, “A green dot is any action that reduces the risk of violence in the moment, supports survivors, or creates a culture less tolerant of violence.” The website sums it up: “A green dot is your individual choice to make our university safer.”
Sean Kinsella, the community development coordinator at UTM Student Housing and Residence Life, and who also serves on the Green Dot Committee on campus, was on hand to answer questions about the new initiative and promote the bystander training seminars, which will take place on January 29 and February 23 at UTM’s Faculty Club in the Davis Building.
“A red dot is anything that leads to an act of power-based personal violence,” said Kinsella. “The idea is that on our campus, we want to change those red dots into green dots. We recognize that in particular the statistics of acts of power-based personal violence is high. Statistically, the red dots happen to women, but we wanted a program that everyone could participate in—and that everyone understands their responsibility to create a different culture on campus where we’re dealing with red dots proactively.”
The program is supported at UTM by the Health and Counselling Centre, Student Housing and Residence Life, Physical Health & Education, Campus Police, and others.