SRU awarded ‘It’s On Us PA’ grant to combat sexual violence on campus


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Slippery Rock University was one of more than 30 Pennsylvania colleges and universities to recieve “It’s On Us PA” grants for 2022 from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to address sexual violence on college campuses.

Jan. 28, 2022

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Slippery Rock University was one of more than 30 Pennsylvania institutions of higher education to receive an "It's On Us PA" grant from Gov. Tom Wolf in 2022. It's On Us is a nationwide movement and the largest nonprofit program handling college sexual assault prevention and survivor support initiatives. Gov. Wolf's administration has awarded nearly $6 million to post-secondary institutions since the statewide launch in 2016, with SRU as a multiple time recipient.

"Pennsylvania's colleges and universities must be a safe space for students to learn and grow without fear of violence, harassment or abuse," said Gov. Wolf in a prepared statement. "Each one of us has a responsibility to promote healthy relationships, and the It's On Us PA grant program was created to provide pathways to trainings and sources that improve campus culture and engagement."

From February 2022 until May 2022, SRU will apply nearly $8,000 from the grant toward programming on campus.

"Sexual assault remains a concern on college campuses," said Karla Fonner, SRU dean of students. "Educating our students is a key part of prevention and survivor support, and we're grateful to once again have this grant that allows us to enhance our programs."

Fonner said the University has multiple plans for the funding.



SRU will further advance Step Up!, a bystander intervention program to educate students on recognizing unhealthy relationship behaviors and patterns and properly addressing the concerns they see in peers. The goal of the program is to stop potential sexual violence before it occurs.

SRU's Boost Peer Educators are involved with discussing emotional and social wellness and how to foster better interpersonal communication. Boost is a group of certified peer educators from the SRU Student Support Office that focuses on students' personal, social and emotional well-being and development.

The SRU Student Counseling Center will additionally host a healthy relationship counseling group as well as intense training with their counselors about campus conduct and the Title IX process.

These initiatives are intended to foster a safer and more comfortable environment, so students can be open about their feelings and experiences.

The grant also affords SRU the opportunity to collect more data. Fonner described how examining CARE and conduct referrals, Clery Act data, and Title IX reports can help identify specific areas for SRU to amend.

"Students come to school with a goal in mind of pursuing an education that will get them the job they want, so they can get the life they want," Fonner said. "Sometimes in that pursuit of education, they are faced with challenges that get in the way. I think it is important for people to be equipped to handle those things. For me, it's about providing additional tools to students to help them manage situations in their lives and providing opportunities for them to be academically successful at SRU."

For more information about It's On Us PA, including an opportunity to take a pledge to help recognize and combat sexual assault, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education website. To learn more about the national campaign and view resources for those who may be struggling, visit the It's On Us website.

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