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SRU receives ‘It’s On Us PA’ Grant to fund campaign to end sexual assault and violence

Hannah Shumsky, Rocket Contributor

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For the second year, SRU will receive a grant through “It’s On Us PA,” a statewide campaign to end sexual assault and violence first announced by Governor Tom Wolf in September 2016.

SRU was one of 39 PA post-secondary institutions to receive a grant. SRU will receive $8,577 out of over $950,000 being distributed to all 39 institutions.

Last year, SRU received about $10,000 for a speaker, events, trainings and “It’s On Us” Week last April; however, according to David Wilmes, associate provost for student success, representatives from the university and various student groups chose a different focus for applying for this year’s grant.

According to Wilmes, the goal of the campaign is to “broadly get the material out there so that everybody knows about it, sees it, looks at it as opposed to just having a program where only 200 people will attend.” The groups represented at the meeting on what to do with the grant included the Women’s Center, President’s Commission on Women, Health Center, Counseling Center, Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA) and Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Starting in fall 2018, the grant money will be used on a marketing campaign with the focus of speaking up. The grant will fund posters and mirror clings to be posted around campus and in bathrooms. This grant will also provide bracelets with information on consent, which FMLA distributed at past events.

“All of us have a role in helping to prevent sexual violence by looking out for our friends when we go out on the weekend, by, if we hear someone make a sexist comment that can lead to sexual violence, saying something,” Wilmes said.

Wilmes said that, with the campaign beginning in fall 2018, the beginning of the campaign will coincide with the “red zone,” meaning that the first six weeks of the academic year are when most sexual assaults occur.

Wilmes emphasized that there will be more events and activities in future semesters and academic years past this grant.

“This is something that’s going to take a long time to address, and so we’re committed to sticking with it and continuing to address it until we can make sure that everyone is safe and treated the way they should be treated,” Wilmes said.

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SRU receives ‘It’s On Us PA’ Grant to fund campaign to end sexual assault and violence