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Springfield higher ed. institutions unite for safer campuses with Green Dot Program

Published on Oct 28, 2015 by Paul K. Logsdon

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Four Springfield area colleges are collaborating with the Community Partnership of the Ozarks on a common goal of helping students prevent relational violence.

CPO hosted a press conference on Tuesday, Oct. 27, to spotlight what is being done through the Higher Education Committee and to introduce the Green Dot program. (See two media stories below.)

“Evangel University is collaborating with Missouri State University, Drury University and Ozark Technical College,” said Gina Rentschler, director of Community Life at Evangel. “We are all focused on what we can do to make our campuses safer.”

To illustrate the Green Dot program, the group showed a slide of the USA where red dots represented acts of campus violence. Next came a slide with an overlay of green dots, representing places where bystanders intervened and prevented acts of violence.

The concept is simple — through training and education, the goal is to reduce the red dots and increase the green dots nationwide.

“We have been involved with training for a couple of years now,” said Rentschler. “We are training our students on how to respond to ‘uncomfortable situations’.”

According to Rentschler, Evangel’s Public Safety Department met with 300 students on Tuesday, and offers a series of personal safety classes throughout the year.

“MSU will be ready to launch this program in the fall of 2016,” said Jill Peterson, former Greene County Prosecutor and Title IX coordinator at MSU. “It is a pleasure to be partnering with campuses who are established in this program.”

Missouri State will host a Stop the Violence conference Thursday, Oct. 29. Evangel, Drury and OTC will be participating.

LOCAL NEWS COVERAGE OF THIS COLLABORATIVE EFFORT

• SPRINGFIELD NEWS-LEADER — http://www.news-leader.com/story/news/education/2015/10/27/colleges-recruit-bystanders-fight-against-sexual-assault-violence/74682900/

• KOLR-10 (CBS TV) — http://www.ozarksfirst.com/news/local-colleges-adopt-the-green-dot-strategy