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IUP receives $30,000 grant

by IUP News Service on February 22, 2017 10:48 AM

Indiana University of Pennsylvania has received $30,000 through Gov. Tom Wolf’s “It’s On Us PA” campaign to address campus sexual assault.

IUP is one of 36 colleges and universities in Pennsylvania selected to receive funding, which will be used to implement strategies to address goals of the program.

“We are pleased and proud to be part of this initiative,” said Dr. Jessica Miller, a psychologist in IUP’s Counseling Center and the interim director of The Haven Project. “IUP is committed to all of the goals of the ‘It’s On Us PA’ campaign.”

Miller said IUP will use this funding to bring the Green Dot bystander program to the campus.

“The Green Dot model views all community members as potential bystanders and gives them the tools they need to recognize and respond to high-risk situations,” she said. “The Green Dot curriculum, built on the base of significant national research, has been shown to prevent multiple forms of interpersonal violence when a critical mass of individuals are engaged as peers in the effort. The proposed work will help ensure that critical mass exists at IUP.”

The goals of the “It’s On Us PA” campaign include:

• 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 and superintendents — and students, teachers, faculty, staff, families and communities to pledge to improve their institutions’ climate.

More than 60 applicants competed for the grants.

Recipients were selected using a blind evaluation process by a team assembled by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

In January 2016, Pennsylvania became the first state to launch an “It’s On Us” campaign, building from the momentum of the national campaign started in 2014 by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Funding for the “It’s On Us PA” grants was secured by Wolf in the 2016-17 state budget. Since launching the campaign in January 2015, more than 1,000 people have taken the pledge.

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