Penn State

Penn State scores grant in national sexual violence campaign

Penn State will be receiving $30,000 for efforts to counter sexual violence and misconduct, part of the nationwide “It’s On Us” campaign.
Penn State will be receiving $30,000 for efforts to counter sexual violence and misconduct, part of the nationwide “It’s On Us” campaign. Centre Daily Times, file

A national campaign to address sexual violence will have a presence at Penn State.

On Friday, the university announced it was receiving $30,000 through “It’s On Us PA.”

“The ‘It’s on Us’ campaign recognizes the need for the entire community to be involved in addressing sexual violence, especially on college and university campuses,” said Anne Ard, executive director of the Centre County Women’s Resource Center, one of Penn State’s community partners in the grant.

That statewide effort is part of a larger national campaign. The grant will be used to grow educational efforts surrounding sexual violence and misconduct across all Penn State campuses.

“Penn State and the surrounding community have a long history of addressing the issues highlighted in the ‘It’s On Us’ national campaign,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims. “This grant underscores our ongoing commitment to providing an educational environment free from sexual violence and is an important step in bringing more awareness to the problem of sexual violence on and around college and university campuses.”

Specifically, the university will use the money to create “training and promotional videos to raise awareness about sexual misconduct and sexual violence on campus and in the community.” The 20-second to eight-minute videos can also help people learn more about how to report problems and how to find help and support at the university, and can be used alone or as part of a curriculum.

Director of the Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Paul Apicella called the video approach a way to “diversify our message so we can reach people in a different way.”

In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf announced “It’s On Us PA” in January, making the commonwealth the first state to launch an offshoot of the national campaign that kicked off in 2014.

Ard lauded Penn State’s efforts to work with others to achieve the program’s objectives, saying “from the very beginning a collaborative effort (existed) between the university and community partners like the CCWRC.”

“One of the things that the Penn State Climate survey released last spring indicated is that while there are many resources available, most Penn State students, faculty and staff don’t know what they are or how to access them. The project being funded by this grant is a good way to begin to address that problem,” she said.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce