It’s On Us PA’ Awards $1 Million to 36 Colleges, Universities to Combat Sexual Assault

Today nearly $1 million in state grants were awarded to combat campus sexual assault at 36 colleges and universities.

“Every student, teacher, administrator and visitor to our campuses deserves a safe environment free from harassment,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “This is the fourth year that my administration will be working with students, schools and communities to build programs to raise awareness about and stop sexual assaults. We must never tolerate this behavior on our campuses or a culture that allows it.”

It’s On Us is a national initiative championed by President Barack Obama. With today’s announcement, the Wolf Administration has invested a total of nearly $4 million for It’s On Us grants.

Colleges and universities 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.

The 2019-20 It’s On Us PA recipients include public and private institutions in every corner of the state. The colleges and universities enroll a total of nearly 250,000 students. Of those students, more than 62,000 live on campus.

Last July, Gov. Wolf signed legislation, championed by Rep. Dan Frankel and Sen. Lisa Baker, that requires post-secondary institutions to offer online, anonymous options for students to report sexual assaults. Many of this year’s grant recipients will be using the funds to implement those systems, which must be in place by the end of June.

 “I want to thank the governor for his leadership in prioritizing the safety of our college and university students,” said Frankel. “These grants help create an atmosphere where young people can feel protected and supported as they navigate a new chapter in their lives. By providing for training and awareness campaigns, the administration is ensuring that my newly passed legislation to require schools to offer online, anonymous reporting options for students is immediately put into use.”

The 36 postsecondary institutions selected for grants include Chatham University and the University of Pittsburgh.