PA schools awarded grants to combat campus sexual violence

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FILE – In this Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 file photo, a student walks in front of the Old Main building on the Penn State campus in State College, Pa. The university on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, canceled in-person classes for the rest of the spring semester, citing the coronavirus pandemic, as state officials announced a 40% jump in the number of confirmed cases. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Thirty-seven institutions of higher education in Pennsylvania will be receiving grants to combat sexual campus assault, according to Governor Tom Wolf.

The “It’s On Us” campaign was established in Pennsylvania five years ago, created to provide colleges and universities with resources necessary to shift campus culture and promote healthy relationships. Each school will receive a grant of $30,000.

Schools in our area that are receiving grants include Penn State University, Juniata College and Lock Haven University.

“Sexual violence will not be tolerated,” Governor Wolf said. “Students, staff, and educators across the commonwealth have done tremendous work through It’s On Us PA to protect learning environments and ensure they are free from sexual assault, harassment, and violence. These grants will further build on the work they have done to hold people accountable.”

The grants will provide funding from January 2021 until May 2022. Here is the list of goals the campaign hopes to address with its new funding, according to the governor’s office:

  • Improve awareness, prevention, reporting, and response systems regarding sexual violence in schools, colleges, and universities to better serve all students.
  • Remove/reduce barriers that prevent survivors of sexual violence from reporting and/or accessing vital resources by creating a more consistent, empowering reporting process for student survivors of gender-based violence.
  • Demonstrate significant, proactive, and sustainable leadership to change campus culture by challenging Pennsylvania’s education leaders – including college and university presidents, as well as students, teachers, faculty, staff, families, and communities to pledge to improve their institutions’ climate around sexual assault.

Programs that have been considered include campus-wide training for students, faculty and staff, along with campaigns to raise awareness and understanding of the reporting process and available resources for students that have been sexually assaulted.

These programs will also increase awareness of the students’ rights to seek or increase mechanisms for anonymous reporting.

The full list of colleges and universities receiving grants are below:

Albright CollegeCabrini UniversityChatham University
Cheyney UniversityCommunity College of Allegheny CountyCommunity College of Philadelphia
Dickinson CollegeDrexel University
Duquesne University
Eastern University
Gettysburg CollegeHaverford College
Holy Family University
Indiana University of PA
Johnson College
Juniata College
Lackawanna College
Lafayette College
Lincoln University
Lock Haven University
Marywood University
Mercyhurst University
Montgomery County Community CollegePierce College
Penn State University
Point Park University
Robert Morris University
Rosemont College
Seton Hill University
Slippery Rock University
St. Vincent College
Temple University
Thomas Jefferson University
University of Scranton
West Chester University
Wilkes University
York College of PA

It’s On Us PA has awarded 150 grants since 2016 to over 70 institutions, with a total funding amount of almost $4 million.

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