Blue lights, green dots

By: La Vie Staff Writers

Safety is a priority at Lebanon Valley College, and the effort to keep students secure can be seen in two colors around campus: blue and green.

Nineteen emergency telephones mounted on poles with blue lights are located across campus with one more to be installed in front of the McGill Baseball Field. In addition, each campus residence hall has an emergency phone at the main entrance and elevator phones can be used for emergency communication.

The purpose is simple.  The phones can be used anytime a student finds himself or herself in trouble.

“By pushing the red call button, a two-way phone call connects the user to the officer on duty,” Brent Oberholtzer, Director of Public Safety and Green Dot Coordinator, said.  “This way the user can be found even if they cannot verbally communicate their location.”

An officer receiving the notification will respond to the location to assess the situation if a solution can’t be reached via the phone call.

“These phones are designed for emergency situations,” Oberholtzer said.  “If someone were to feel unsafe or if someone witnesses another in distress and has no other form of communication (cell phone) they may use these devices to summon help.”

Be a green dot

Lebanon Valley College is committed to being a violence free campus.  Oberholtzer said bystanders have a great impact on changing and affecting others.  The Green Dot program teaches people how to intervene when violence is about to take place.

“No one has to do everything but everyone has to do something,” Oberholtzer said.    Sally Clark, an English professor, chairs the Green Dot Violence Prevention Committee at LVC.

She described a green dot as an action taken by someone to prevent a red dot from occurring. Red dots can be anything including acts of dating/domestic violence,
stalking and sexual assault.

“Ultimately, the goal is to establish and sustain a campus community that is covered with green dots,” Clark said.

The Green Dot program was introduced at LVC in 2013 and participation has steadily increased; it’s a nationwide program at hundreds of colleges and universities, high schools and even military bases.  Anyone can participate in Green Dot by taking a stand against violence.

“Our first session, Sunday, September 18, is Green Dot  National Action Day,” Clark said.  “We will have activities during the week before the training culminating in a ‘Make Your Own Sundae with Green Toppings’ on the porch of the Green Dot House (Sheridan East) on Friday, September 16, from 4-6 p.m.”

In the interim, students are invited to sign up for the bystander intervention training sessions on Redbook to become more informed about strategies and skills for safe and effective ways to prevent violence.