WEST CHESTER (March 13, 2018) – State Senator Andy Dinniman announced today that two universities in Chester County – Immaculata University and West Chester University – will receive nearly $56,000 in total state grant funding to prevent and combat sexual on campus.

“The primary duty of any educational institution is to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of its students and young people,” Dinniman, who serves as minority chair of the Senate Education Committee, said. “These grant funds will further empower university students, staff, and leaders to reframe the conversation about sexual violence and stand together in being part of the solution to end sexual assault and misconduct on campus.”

The funds come through the It’s On Us PA grant program, which is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. They are as follows:

  • $25,922 for Immaculata University for programs and to ensure that policies are clear and communicated on campus. In addition, funds will be used to provide staff and student training through the Crime Victims Center of Chester County.
  • $29,996 for West Chester University to grow and expand its Green Dot Bystander Intervention Program, violence prevention education programs, and support efforts for survivors of sexual misconduct. The university will build on the success of its Fall 2017 It’s On Us Week of Action by providing Green Dot Training to faculty, staff, and community members, as well as local high schools. In addition, funds will be used to engage key stakeholders in the strategic planning process and develop a print, social media, and marketing campaign aimed to increase reporting.

“Immaculata University is thankful to the State of Pennsylvania for providing funds that will allow us to continue the dialog with students about sexual assault,” said Patricia Canterino, vice president for Student Development and Engagement.  “’It’s On Us’ program will help students understand what constitutes sexual assault and to help them identify potentially dangerous situations.”

Dinniman also praised West Chester University’s Green Dot Program, which aims to train students and faculty on being proactive in preventing and changing the message and culture on campus around power-based violence and sexual assault. He added that members of his West Chester District Office staff have also received Green Dot training.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in 5 women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college and more than 90 percent of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault.

Immaculata University and West Chester University were among 39 postsecondary institutions that received more than $990,000 in total funding through the It’s On Us grant program. Independent, public, and state-related institutions were eligible to apply for up to $30,0000 in grant funding. None of the grantees received less than the amount they requested.