University settings are interesting spaces. In a sense, they are a community within a community; with their own social norms and hierarchies. Indeed, university settings afford us with a unique opportunity to create culture change.

A couple of months back I got to see an example of what this actually means in a prevention setting, when I attended the Green Dot Institute in Lexington, Kentucky. Dr. Dorothy Edwards spoke passionately and eloquently about the changes they have seen at the University of Kentucky after implementing Green Dot. CLICK HERE to learn more about Green Dot.  She described the changes in language, practices and social norms.

 These changes, however, are only possible within a setting that is interested and ready for such change to occur.

 We look at the University of Oregon, for example, where in the past month, six football players have been suspected of or charged with different crimes, two whom were charged with crimes of violence against women.

 CLICK HERE to read full article.

 The author of the article poses the following questions:

 “Should the athletic director and the football coach be judged and rewarded based solely on the football team’s on-field performance? Or should they be accountable for the broader effects the team has on the community and society?”

 What is our role as prevention advocates to effect culture change on university campuses? Who needs to be at the table / on board for such change to occur? What are alternative strategies that could be used when those individuals are not interested? How do we create a climate similar to the University of Kentucky’s where bystander intervention, regardless of gender and social position, are the norm?