Governor Wolf’s ‘It’s On Us PA’ Awards $1 million to 36 colleges, universities to combat sexual assault

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Gov. Wolf announced that he awarded $1 million to the “It’s On Us PA” program at 36 colleges and universities to help combat Sexual Assault. Gov. Wolf established “It’s On Us PA” 4 years ago, which was the nation’s first statewide campaign. 

“Every student, teacher, administrator, and visitor to our campuses deserves a safe environment free from harassment,” said Wolf in a release

Wolf continued, “This is the fourth year that my administration will be working with students, schools, and communities to build programs to raise awareness about and stop sexual assaults. We must never tolerate this behavior on our campuses or a culture that allows it.”

“It On Us” was started by former President Barack Obama, and since Pennsylvania has gotten involved, they have donated close to $4 million for the program. 

It’s On Us Executive Director Tracey Vitchers said in a release that, “the nearly $4 million in It’s On Us Pennsylvania grants allocated over the last four years have and will continue to empower colleges and universities across the state to do the critically important work of preventing sexual assault within their communities, and responding in a trauma-informed way with survivors when it sadly does occur.” 

The money will go towards schools to develop campus-wide training for staff, faculty, and students. It will also go towards campaigns to raise awareness for the reporting process and resources for survivors. 

The 2019-2020 recipients are both public and private post-secondary schools. The total number of students across the chosen schools include 250,000 students. 62,0000 of these students live on campus. 

Gov. Wolf signed legislation last July that requires all post-secondary institutions to offer anonymous and online options for students to report sexual assault. Some of this year’s grant recipients will be using the funds to help with those systems. They must be in place by the end of June. 

Rep. Dan Frankel and Sen. Lisa Baker championed the bill. 

“The fight against abuse in schools and on campuses is a serious one requiring deeper awareness and stronger action,” Sen. Baker said in a release.

Baker added that “These grants show an increasing commitment to protecting students against unconscionable emotional and physical abuse and to promptly investigating complaints and appropriately sanctioning perpetrators.”

This year, schools that are applying for the first time could get a research grant. A release reported that St. Vincent College in Latrobe was awarded a $15,000 grant to help study the statewide impact on the program. They will also provide recommendations.

Below are the school that will be getting the grant money, according to a release:

Albright College

Bloomsburg University

Bryn Mawr College

Butler County Community College

Chatham University

Cheyney University

Clarion University

Community College of Allegheny County

Curtis Institute of Music

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

Gannon University

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine

Holy Family University

Immaculata University

Indiana University of PA

Keystone College

Lehigh University

Lock Haven University

Lycoming College

Manor College

Marywood University

Mercyhurst University

Millersville University

Peirce College

Penn State University

Point Park University

Rosemont College

Saint Francis University

Saint Joseph’s University

Shippensburg University

South Hills School of Business & Technology

St. Vincent College – Research

Thiel College

University of Pittsburgh

Waynesburg University

Wilkes University

 

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