ESU Awarded It’s On Us PA Grant for Third Year

Posted by: Elizabeth Richardson on January 22, 2020, No Comments

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania has received funding through the 2019-20 Governor’s It’s On Us PA Grant Program from the Governor’s Office and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. This is the third year ESU has received It’s On Us PA Grant funding.

Governor Tom Wolf launched the “It’s On Us PA” campaign in January 2016, inviting education leaders and all Pennsylvanians to play a role in ending sexual violence on college campuses. The Governor’s It’s On Us PA Grant Program aims to support postsecondary institutions’ efforts to create campus environments in which all community members are informed, active bystanders work together to end sexual violence, and where survivors are able to access the rights, resources, and accommodations afforded to them through state and federal law.

Lonnie Allbaugh, ESU title IX coordinator and Laura Suits, coordinator of wellness education & prevention, submitted the grant proposal. ESU was awarded a grant of $30,000. These funds will be used further initiatives that began with the previous two It’s On US grants ESU has received.

“The It’s on US, ESU 3.0 campaign will accomplish three goals which are in concert with the state’s campaign,” Allbaugh said. “The goals are to improve awareness, prevention, reporting and response systems regarding sexual violence in our university to better serve all students; remove and reduce barriers that prevent survivors of sexual violence from reporting and/or accessing vital resources by creating a more consistent, empowering reporting process for student survivors of gender-based violence; and demonstrate significant, proactive, and sustainable leadership to change campus culture by pledging to improve our institution’s climate.”

These goals will be accomplished through five specific activities. “These activities are designed to improve the way our campus gathers information and puts that data to use, the way we conduct sexual assault prevention trainings, and improve the culture of our campus while partnering with community organizations that have similar goals,” Suits said.

The Office of Wellness Education & Prevention will hire two graduate student workers to assist training undergraduate peer educators to develop a student led Sexual Awareness and Prevention Team that will provide educational programs throughout campus. The Title IX office will also hire a graduate student worker with grant money to assist with administrative tasks, collecting data, and work directly with the Wellness Education & Prevention Sexual Awareness and Prevention Team to provide programs specifically based on trends of cases coming into the Title IX office. ESU will purchase the evidence-based Sexual Assault Prevention Training for College Students by EVERFI. Students will complete this online program prior to coming to the university and all National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) student athletes will be required to complete the program for their mandated sexual assault prevention training. The grant will provide funding to blanket ESU’s campus with informative sexual assault merchandise such as t-shirts, stickers, buttons and pens to create a culture that stands against sexual assault and supports survivors of sexual violence. These materials will be distributed during Sexual Awareness and Prevention Team programs and interactions. Finally, ESU will partner with Women’s Resources of Monroe County, Inc. to implement an advocacy position for victims/survivors to work together through the recovery process. Additionally, Women’s Resources of Monroe County Inc., Wellness Education & Prevention and the Title IX office will work together to run several awareness events such as Take Back the Night, Empowerment Day and attend the Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence Task Force of Monroe County.

For more information about Wellness Education and Prevent contact Suits at 570-422-3298 or email lsuits@esu.edu. For more information about Title IX, contact Allbaugh at 570-422-2277 or email titleixreport@esu.edu.