Green Dot FAQ

Green Dot Frequently Asked Questions 

→  What is Green Dot?

  • Green Dot is a program focused on bystander intervention.  It uses a metaphor of Green Dots (an action or choice that promotes safety and an intolerance for violence) and Red Dots (an act of power-based interpersonal violence), with the ultimate goal being that Green Dots will outnumber Red Dots on our campus, while keeping everyone who lives, works, and learns at our university safe.

→  Who do I contact regarding Green Dot? 

  • The UNI Office of Compliance and Equity Management (OCEM) will coordinate and oversee the implementation of Green Dot in partnership with Northern Iowa Student Government and other staff, faculty, and administration on campus. If you have questions, you may reach out to OCEM by emailing us at, calling us at (319) 273-2846, or dropping by our office at Gilchrist 117.

→  What are Green Dots? 

  • Green Dots represent an action or choice that helps to promote safety and communicate that violence is not tolerated in our community. This can include someone stepping in to help someone, creating a distraction to diffuse an unsafe situation, or telling someone else about the situation so they can take appropriate actions. Green Dots do not represent people, but actions people take in their daily lives to make their community safer.

→  What are Red Dots? 

  •  Red Dots represent an act of power-based interpersonal violence, including forms of sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, and stalking. Red Dots do not represent a person, but a single act of interpersonal violence. 

→  What's the difference between Reactive vs. Proactive Green Dots?

  •  Reactive Green Dots are choices and actions where people get involved when they see potentially harmful situations. Whereas proactive Green Dots are choices and actions that shift the culture and norms in our communities in order to create a safer community for everyone.

→  What are some Green Dot examples?

  • Attending a Green Dot training and other Green Dot events! 

  • Asking someone if they are okay if you think they need help. 

  • Asking someone if they want to go with you to use the restroom, get drinks or food, take a picture, go home, etc. to help them get away from a potentially harmful situation. 

  • Making sure a friend who is intoxicated gets home safe. 

  • Spilling your drink, saying you lost your keys, or otherwise distracting to diffuse the situation. 

  • Finding a trusted friend, RA, professor, staff member, or coach to help you assess the situation and take appropriate action. 

  • Putting a Green Dot sticker on your water bottle or laptop to show others you support the program and as a conversation starter. 

  • Speaking up if you hear victim blaming statements, degrading or offensive language, or an inappropriate joke. 

→  What are the 3 D’s of Reactive Green Dots

  • Direct: Doing something yourself.

    • EX: Ask someone to stop what they are doing, or check on someone you might be worried about. 

  • Delegate: Finding someone else who you feel will be more successful in fixing the problem. 

    • EX: Letting the bartender know, other friends that are present/involved, a trusted RA, coach, staff or faculty member, Public Safety, etc.

  • Distract: Changing the conversation and energy of the situation by distracting with something else. 

    • EX: Spilling your drink on someone, inviting them to get food with you, inviting them for a bathroom break, etc.

→  How did Green Dot get here?

  • As a call to more action, UNI students specifically requested Green Dot. Green Dot was selected and funded by NISG in their 2020-2021 session. NISG provided money for a graduate assistant position and program costs.  Another reason Green Dot was selected is because Green Dot is informed by research from a variety of disciplines including information from the fields of psychology and communications, and research on bystander dynamics, sexual violence, adult learning, learning transfer, and social diffusion. Lastly, Green Dot is focused on creating long term change.

→  Is Green Dot effective?

  • Yes! A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that student interpersonal violence victimization rates were 17% lower at a university implementing the Green Dot program compared to universities with no bystander intervention program.

→  Why do we need Green Dot? 

  • According to research conducted by the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, gender violence impacts as many as 1 in 5 women, 1 in 14 men, and 1 in 4 transgender students on college campuses each year. This makes it likely that each of us know someone affected by this issue. We must be working continually to ensure that our campus is a safe place for all students, faculty, and staff to learn and grow. The Green Dot program is critical in creating a campus community of safety and respect.

Green Dot's Parent Company