Green Dot session focus on prevention, intervention in violence


Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Suzy D’Enbeau and Kent State Marketing Assistant Taylor Nickel talk before a Green Dot session on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. This Green Dot meeting was a special CCI overview training session.

Alexis Wohler

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) held a Green Dot overview training session for students to learn about violence prevention on Wednesday in Franklin Hall.

The event aimed at students sought to help them understand the importance of being able to identify potentially dangerous or violent situations.

Green Dot is a national non-profit organization dedicated to violence prevention education. Green Dot is built on the premise that the community can measurably and systematically reduce violence, by the actions of individuals.

Suzy D’Enbeau, an assistant professor in the School of Communication Studies, and Jennie O’Connell, director of the Office of Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services (SRVSS,) are certified Green Dot educators who led the session.

SRVSS provides education and awareness to students around sexual violence and support services for those who are impacted.

During the overview session, students learned about Green Dot’s mission and engaged in small group activities designed to help them take proactive and reactive measures against violence.

One of the activities that the small groups engaged in included imagining someone they love being put in a dangerous situation, seeing someone there who saw the harmful act about to occur, yet didn’t intervene.

The students were then asked how the witness not intervening on their loved one’s behalf made them feel. A lot of the students answered with: scared, angry and asking the question, why didn’t the person intervene?’

Then the students were asked to picture the person witnessing the attack on their loved one stepping in to help, and were asked again how they felt after they knew the person intervened on their loved one’s behalf.

A number of students answered with: happy, relieved and gratitude towards the person who intervened. 

O’Connell said she is passionate about providing safety on all college campuses.

D’Enbeau said she has had someone come up to her every semester for the 10 years she has been at Kent State, to discuss a violent situation that may have happened to them, or to someone they care about.

Another activity that was done in the session was using both green and red Post-it-notes and having the students write out acts of violence, as well as writing out acts that can prevent violence, on a drawing of Ohio. The red notes signified acts of violence on college campuses, while the green notes signified acts that can prevent violence.

Some of the red notes included making homophobic comments, catcalling, calling someone obscenities, rape, student stalking and harassment. The students then placed the red notes on the drawing of Ohio.

The green notes included: telling a trusted adult about an incident that occurred, being honest or opening up to someone that a person is worried about them, directly interfering in an act of violence and distracting someone from committing violence.

Other ideas of how to prevent violence included wearing Green Dot bracelets to class in order to spread awareness, as well as posting a Facebook post telling someone they’re proud of them for stepping up to protect someone else.

Once the green Post-it-notes were on the drawing, the students put the green Post-it notes over the red ones.

“We all experience barriers to intervening,” D’Enbeau said.

Such barriers meant fear of ruining a friendship or reputation, embarrassment or for one’s own safety.

Hannah Summerville, a senior communication studies major, participated in the session as well among the other attendees.

“I love Green Dot,” Summerville said. “I already knew about it. But I wanted more in-depth info and the fact that CCI was having this special session was perfect.”

For more information about Green Dot at Kent State visit the website

Alexis Wohler is the CCI reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her a[email protected].