Harkins, Merski: Gannon University receives $40,000 ‘It’s On Us’ grant to enhance student safety

ERIE, Jan. 23 – New grant funding of $40,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Education will help Gannon University bolster security and keep the campus safe from the threat of sexual violence, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced today.

The lawmakers said the funding comes from the It’s On Us PA Grant Program administered by the state Department of Education.

“Keeping our colleges and universities safe places for students to learn is paramount, and this grant will help Gannon University implement and build upon prevention programs and services to educate students, teachers and administrators, but also provide the vital resources and services to help survivors of sexual assault,” Harkins said.

Merski said, “As a former educator, I believe that every student deserves a safe and respectful learning environment, and that we must end the culture of silence and impunity that enables sexual violence. This grant funding will help ensure Gannon University students maintain a safe environment that encourages young adults to pursue their dreams.”

The grant will provide funding through May 2025 to help implement strategies on campus to address goals of the It’s On Us PA campaign, including improving prevention, reporting, and response systems regarding sexual violence incidents on college campuses and removing barriers that prevent survivors from reporting incidents to school officials.

This round of funding through It’s On Us PA awarded a total of $1.4 million to 37 higher education institutions and postsecondary schools in Pennsylvania.