Frankel: Carnegie Mellon University awarded $40,000 ‘It’s On Us’ grant

Funding will help prevent campus sexual assault and harassment, promote reporting

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 23 – New funding of $40,000 will help Carnegie Mellon University’s efforts to protect students from the threat of sexual assault, harassment and violence, state Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, announced today.

Frankel said the funding – awarded by the state Department of Education under the It’s On Us program – will help equip CMU to prevent incidents and better address any that might occur.

“Your college years should be a time of growth, learning and self-discovery, but too many young people throughout history have instead found themselves feeling unsafe and found their school environments to be unequipped to deal with threats and attacks on campus,” Frankel said.

“This grant is part of a focused effort – at the state level and at CMU – to provide the safest possible campus environment, ensure that a system of reporting is in place when incidents do occur and promote a culture of reporting where students feel safe to speak out.”

Frankel’s legislation to create the “It’s On Us” online reporting program for campus sexual assault became law as part of the 2019 state budget. Statewide efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assaults on college campuses were further expanded by Act 55 of 2022, which requires 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. Schools must also maintain a memorandum of understanding with at least one rape crisis center and one domestic violence program to provide services to students and assist in educating them about sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking education prevention and response.

Grants awarded under the program provide funding from January 2024 through May 2025 to implement measures that:

  • Improve awareness, prevention, reporting and response systems regarding sexual violence in schools, colleges and universities to better serve all students.
  • 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.
  • 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’ climates.

More about the funding is available here: