Wilkes University has been awarded a $30,000 “It’s On Us” grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This is the fourth time that Wilkes has received the award, which will be used to raise awareness about sexual and intimate-partner violence. Wilkes was the only school in Luzerne County to receive the grant.
An initiative of Governor Tom Wolf, “It’s On Us PA” is a statewide campaign that invites everyone to play a role in ending sexual assault.
The grant will be used to establish and continue programs that educate and train students, faculty and staff on identifying, responding to and reporting sexual violence. Approximately 20 percent of Wilkes undergraduates are student-athletes. In coordination with the NCAA commitment to providing a Sexual Violence Prevention Tool Kit, some grant funds will be dedicated to training opportunities for coaches, staff and athletes.
Additionally, the funds will also support an annual month-long awareness campaign in April which coincides with Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Planned activities include the continuation of the University’s Red Flag Campaign, a bystander intervention strategy to address and prevent sexual assault, dating violence and stalking on college campuses. The campaign encourages friends and other campus community members to say something when they see warning signs, or red flags, of intimate partner violence.
“The health and safety of our campus community is our top priority. Thanks to the ‘It’s On Us’ grant, we can expand opportunities that bring awareness to sexual violence. Our students often lead these efforts and deserve much of the credit,” said Wilkes President Greg Cant. “I want to thank Gov. Tom Wolf, Sen. John Yudichak and Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski for their continued support of Wilkes University and our students.”
“The ‘It’s On Us’ program, championed by Governor Wolf, is an essential resource for our colleges and universities as they work to keep their students safe while learning and living on campus,” said Senator John Yudichak (I-Luzerne/Carbon). “I applaud Wilkes University for receiving this important funding which will help them continue to make their campus a welcome and safe environment for their students.”
The efforts will be organized by Wilkes Title IX coordinator, Samantha Hart, in partnership with the “It’s On Us” student organization.
“It is important that we continue to provide our campus community with the skills and strategies that support a safe learning environment where students can thrive,” said Hart. “We are honored to be a grant recipient and look forward to a year of awareness events held remotely and on campus.”