Visitors to Penn State Berks may have noticed a pathway of red and green dots along campus walkways recently; these are not warning signs or stop/go symbols. The college is launching Stand for State, a new University-wide initiative aimed at empowering Penn Staters to stand up for one another, on Monday, January 25, 2016. The launch will be held from 1?2:30 p.m. in the Perkins Student Center and will include a PowerPoint presentation, information tables and give-away items, as well as a display in the showcase on the second floor lobby. In addition, students, faculty, and staff will have an opportunity to sign a white sheet with their footprints.
Stand for State promotes the use of bystander intervention in preventing sexual and relationship violence. The bystander intervention program was created by Green Dot, a national leader in violence prevention education. In the curriculum, as people engage in new behaviors to reduce violence and harm (which are labeled as red dots), the new prevention behaviors are represented by green dots. The key tactics for intervening and removing someone from harm?s way are Green Dot?s Three D?s: direct, delegate and distract.
At Penn State Berks, three staff members have been trained in the Green Dot bystander intervention curriculum: James McCarty, Admissions Counselor; Elizabeth ?Betsy? Scarpaci, Assistant Director of Student Affairs and Residence Life; and Brittney Schlechter, Student Activities Coordinator.
McCarty summarized the impact of the training by stating, ?No one has the ability to change the entire world, but through simple acts of looking out for one another, we have the ability to change a person's entire world.?
Green Dot provided four-day training sessions in June and November 2015, educating a total of about 200 faculty, staff and administrators. The workshops focused on providing participants with the skills to recognize potentially problematic situations, step in and diffuse the situations when appropriate, and seek help when needed.
In 2016, those trained will implement bystander intervention workshops for students, faculty, and staff. The first of those training sessions for Penn State Berks will take place on Wednesday, January 27, at 1 p.m. in room 3 of the Perkins Student Center.
Stand for State is part of a University-wide effort to combat sexual assaults. In February 2015, Penn State President Eric Barron endorsed the bystander intervention program as part of all 18 recommendations to fight sexual assault and sexual harassment on campus that were presented by a University task force.
?Stand for State is an integral part of our strategy to fight sexual violence and establish Penn State as a leader in making campuses safer," Barron said. "It?s encouraging that so many have taken time to attend sessions and be trained, and I commend them for being part of the solution. For Penn Staters looking to take a stand and make a difference, this initiative is an emphatic first step.?
For more information, follow #StandforState on social media or email [email protected].