PA Schools Receive $1.3 Million in ‘It’s On Us’ Grants

US Department of Education

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) recently announced 39 institutions of higher education and postsecondary schools have been awarded It’s On Us PA grants of up to $60,000 each, totaling more than $1.3 million.

Governor Tom Wolf established It’s On Us PA, the nation’s first statewide campaign to combat campus sexual assault and violence, nearly seven years ago and has made Pennsylvania a national leader in improving campus safety.

“PDE is committed to supporting efforts that keep college campuses safe, inclusive, and welcoming spaces for all students,” said Acting Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty. “The It’s On Us PA campaign cultivates change and provides colleges, universities, and postsecondary career and trade schools with the support and resources necessary to protect learning environments and ensure they are free from sexual assault, harassment, and violence.”

The following institutions received Its On Us PA grants:

Adams County:

  • Gettysburg College, $40,000

Allegheny County:

  • Bidwell Training Center Inc., $8,000
  • Carlow University, $40,000
  • Community College of Allegheny County, $55,000
  • Duquesne University, $40,000
  • Point Park University, $40,000
  • Robert Morris University, $40,000
  • Rosedale Technical College, $20,000
  • Vet Tech Institute, $7,600

Berks County:

  • Albright College, $40,000
  • Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, $40,000

Bucks County:

  • Bucks County Community College, $34,778

Cambria County:

  • Saint Francis University, $40,000

Chester County:

  • Immaculata University, $40,000

Columbia County:

  • Commonwealth University, $60,000

Delaware County:

  • Eastern University, $40,000
  • Widener University, $40,000

Erie County:

  • Mercyhurst University, $40,000

Huntingdon County:

  • Juniata College, $30,000

Indiana County:

  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania, $40,000

Lackawanna County:

  • Johnson College, $5,000
  • Lackawanna College, $39,591
  • University of Scranton, $40,000
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Lancaster County:

  • Millersville University of Pennsylvania, $30,000

Lawrence County:

  • Westminster College, $37,674

Lehigh County:

  • Lehigh Carbon Community College, $53,325

Lycoming County:

  • Pennsylvania College of Technology, $39,470

Montgomery County:

  • Manor College, $40,000

Northampton County:

  • Lafayette College, $40,000

Philadelphia County:

  • Community College of Philadelphia, $60,000
  • Holy Family University, $40,000
  • Saint Joseph’s University, $37,690
  • Tech Elevator, Inc., $10,000
  • Thomas Jefferson University, $40,000
  • University of Pennsylvania, $30,180

Snyder County:

  • Susquehanna University, $30,300

Union County:

  • Bucknell University, $40,000

Westmoreland County:

  • Saint Vincent College, $37,000
  • Seton Hill University, $29,400

The grants provide funding from January 1, 2023, through May 31, 2024, to implement strategies on campuses to address goals of the It’s On Us PA campaign, which include:

  1. Improve awareness, prevention, reporting, and response systems regarding sexual violence in schools, colleges, and universities to better serve all students.
  2. Remove or reduce barriers that prevent survivors of sexual violence from reporting incidents or accessing vital resources by creating a more consistent, empowering reporting process for student survivors of gender-based violence.
  3. 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.

The national It’s On Us campaign was created by the Obama Administration to raise awareness about sexual assault, teach participants that assault includes non-consensual sex, advise them on how to identify dangerous situations, empower them to intervene, and urge them to create an environment of support for victims and survivors.

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Pennsylvanians are invited to visit the It’s On Us PA page on the governor’s website and take the pledge to “recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault, identify situations in which sexual assault may occur, intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given, and create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.” Users also have access to pre-written messages of support that can be used to spread the word on their social networks about the pledge.

Act 55 of 2022 expanded these efforts by requiring all institutions of higher education and postsecondary private licensed schools to adopt a definition of consent as part of their code of conduct or sexual misconduct or harassment policy. By December 31, 2022, each institution also was required to enter into and maintain a memorandum of understanding with at least one rape crisis center and one domestic violence program, and by July 1, 2023, institutions must establish and implement an educational program, in consultation with at least one local rape crisis center and one domestic violence program, that includes sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking education prevention and response.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs, please visit the Department of Education’s website.

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