Gov. Tom Wolf was joined by state and national It’s On Us initiative leaders on Jan. 9 to announce nearly $1 million in grants to combat campus sexual assault at 38 colleges and universities.
The governor is a steadfast supporter of campus safety and nearly three years ago established It’s On Us PA, the nation’s first statewide campaign.
“We must never tolerate sexual assault on our campuses or a culture the allows it,” said Wolf. “Over the past three years, my administration has worked with students, schools, and communities to build programs to stop sexual assaults. These grants will help schools across the state to make campuses safer, and help stop sexual harassment and assault.”
It’s On Us is national initiative championed by President Barack Obama. The Wolf Administration has invested a total of nearly $3 million for It’s On Us grants over the past three years.
"Since launching It's On Us Pennsylvania in 2016 Gov. Wolf and his administration have set a new standard for states across the nation in combatting campus sexual assault,” said Tracey Vitchers, It's On Us executive director. “Pennsylvania's leadership on this issue should serve as a model for state governments across the country, and a reminder that fighting sexual assault in our nation's educational institutions requires bold, forward-thinking investments that ensure safe learning environments for all."
"I believe that It's On Us has given students throughout Pennsylvania and the northeast the tools and skills necessary to advocate for survivors and affect change surrounding the culture of campus sexual violence," said Michael Blichar Jr., Northeast Regional Advisor for It's On Us and a Kutztown University student. “It is It's On Us student leaders who are creating the groundwork needed to end sexual violence once and for all."
Officials from several colleges and universities joined the governor for the press conference at the state Capitol. Colleges and universities can use the grants to create programs ranging from campus-wide training for students, faculty and staff, to institutional campaigns to raise awareness of the reporting process and the resources available to survivors of sexual violence.
“We thank our colleges and universities for taking proactive steps to help prevent sexual assaults and harassment on our campuses and to improve the reporting and response systems to better serve all students,” said Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera. “The It’s On Us PA grants help our schools provide critical training and resources to students and employees so they can study and work in safer environments.”
The 2018-19 It’s On Us PA recipients include public and private, 2-year and 4-year institutions in every corner of the state, and include 18 first-time It’s On Us PA grantees. The 38 post secondary institutions selected for grants include Kutztown University and West Chester University. See full list of grant recipients at https://www.governor.pa.gov/governor-wolfs-us-pa-enters-fourth-year-fight-campus-sexual-assault/.
The governor invited everyone to take the It’s On Us PA pledge. Thousands of students, teachers, families and communities have made a personal and public pledge to help prevent, address and respond effectively to sexual violence.