SG

Student Government officials attended a four-hour Green Dot Gators Bystander Training Sunday in part of an effort to lessen rising sexual violence on campus.

The training, where about 30 SG senators and executive branch members participated in, was announced Jan. 7 at the first Senate meeting of the semester. This training was specifically for Student Government, but anyone with an active RecSports membership could sign up online, according to the website. 

They were taught tactics for intervening in violent situations and preventing it.

Representatives from the UF Sexual Trauma Interpersonal Violence Education organization and SG advising helped GatorWell health promotions specialist Megan Johnson lead these trainings, which are the second part of GatorWell’s four-phase plan to execute Green Dot Gators. The first step was to train faculty and staff. Now, they’ve trained student influencers and leaders. 

“The idea is that these students can help role model the positive bystander behaviors to shape and change our culture,” Johnson said. 

The training included anonymously polling participants online on topics like power-based violence, stalking and dating violence. Students used a code to log on and then answered questions about the presentation. The results posted on the board. 

“There’s a certain power to knowing that in a room, and when we’re all answering anonymously, that the large majority of the room is actually affected by this problem, or at least in reach,” Gator Party vice presidential candidate Lauredan Official said. “And that’s just super eye-opening.”

Phase three will offer training for the Student Body and incoming students, Johnson said. Phase four will implement outreach programs that reinforce the lessons in “action events.” The first action event will be in February. 

Inspire Party Student Body candidate Matthew Diaz attended the training and helped promote the training alongside Sen. Tyler Kendrick and Internal Affairs Agency Head J.R. Molm.

“I really love the way that it was able to engage with people and encourage people to share their own experiences in a way that felt like a very safe space,” Diaz said. “That kind of activity-based learning makes people retain information a lot better.”

There are three more of these trainings this semester: Feb. 21, March 19 and March 27, according to the registration site. 

Contact Chasity Maynard at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @chasitymaynard0. 

University Editor

Chasity Maynard is The Alligator's University Editor. She is a former Student Government Reporter, Copy Desk Chief and copy editor. You can usually find Chasity sipping something caffeinated and cracking terrible dad jokes and puns.