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The Connecticut College men's ice hockey team dedicated the Saturday, Feb. 4, game vs. Tufts University to raising awareness about the "Green Dot" program, a campus initiative to prevent power-based personal violence through bystander intervention.
The College's Dayton Arena went green for the night, with the players wearing bright green laces in their skates and many fans donning "Green Dot" t-shirts. (Even the zamboni was outfitted with a Green Dot banner.) During the game, the team raffled off an official jersey and Green Dot volunteers led a "Chuck a Puck" competition, with proceeds benefiting the Green Dot program. A Green Dot logo placed in the ice will remain for the duration of the season.
Connecticut College is currently the only institution in the state that has implemented the national Green Dot program, created several years ago at the University of Kentucky. Through the program, students, faculty and staff are trained to help prevent power-based personal violence, including sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
"Preventing sexual assault and other violence is an important issue on our campus and at colleges across the country," said senior co-captain Sean Curran. "The team thought it would be a good idea to take a stand and show our support for this program."
Connecticut College's Green Dot program is part of the College's broader Think S.A.F.E. Project. Funded through a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women, the Think S.A.F.E. project addresses sexual assault, dating violence and stalking by integrating prevention and response training and education into the campus culture, building a community coalition and enhancing victim services.
"The Green Dot program is about changing the culture, so students feel empowered to do something when they see warning signs that a friend or fellow student may need help," said Darcie Folsom, Connecticut College's coordinator of sexual violence education and advocacy. "In the training, we talk about reactive and proactive approaches - and it is great to see the hockey team taking this proactive approach."
Head coach Jim Ward said he is very supportive of the program, adding that he recently initiated a team conversation about how Joe Paterno and others at Penn State might have been able to use Green Dot principles to make different choices. "We have a great group of guys who understand the importance of something like this," Ward said. "They want to promote it, and I can't think of a better way to do it than to have everyone down on a Saturday night for a hockey game."
Recently, the women's ice hockey team helped sponsor a Teddy Bear Drive to benefit the Boston Children's Hospital during a two-game series with Amherst College, and Molly Murphy '13 organized a bone marrow drive to honor the memory of former Yale University player Mandi Schwartz, who died of leukemia.