York County, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Deputy Secretary and Commissioner of the Office of Postsecondary and Higher Education Dr. Tanya I. Garcia today highlighted significant investments in sexual harassment awareness on college campuses through It’s On Us PA programming at Gettysburg College and York College of Pennsylvania.
“Our postsecondary education system is preparing Pennsylvania’s students to share their talents with the world, and that’s why Governor Wolf continues to push for historical investments in our colleges and universities,” said Garcia. “I am proud to highlight Gettysburg and York colleges’ efforts to create safe learning environments for its students.”
“The‘ It’s On Us ’awareness campaign has been instrumental for our campus to examine broader societal messaging about sex and gender – and to begin to change the ways in which we as a college community think, speak, and act in regard to these pressing issues, ”said Gettysburg College President Robert luliano. “We are pleased to welcome members of the Pennsylvania Department of Education to Gettysburg College to learn more about how we are investing these funds to better educate our campus, to strengthen our programming, and to make Gettysburg a safer, more vibrant home for our students . ”
The Wolf Administration was invited to highlight It’s On Us PA programming at Gettysburg and York colleges through a roundtable discussion with students and staff focused on progress, program implementation, and ongoing efforts to protect students from sexual violence.
Since 2016, the Wolf Administration has awarded 184 It’s On Us PA grants totaling nearly $ 6 million to post-secondary institutions, including public and private two-year and four-year colleges and universities.
“The health and welfare of our students are my top priority,” said York College President Pamela Gunter-Smith. “Through funding provided by Gov. Wolf’s It’s on Us grants, we have intensified our focus on preventing sexual assault on our campus by empowering all members of our community to take an active role in prevention. We inform and educate our community on effective prevention strategies , while also providing support and resources for those who are victims of sexual abuse and violence. “
This past fall, Gov. Wolf unveiled a four-bill package that will further strengthen protections for students and combat sexual assaults on campuses, including a “yes means yes” law that requires all postsecondary institutions to have policies with clear standards of what is and is not consent; a bill to strengthen protections for victims of on-campus crime; a plan to teach middle and high school students to know and prevent dating violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment and stalking; and legislation that would create a task force to study sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking in grades 6-12 and postsecondary institutions.
“At York College, we believe that a collaborative and holistic approach to prevention is the most effective way to combat sexual violence on campus,” said Title IX Coordinator for York College Liz Grubb. “This year, we are going back to basics with prevention. and discussing topics like bystander intervention and consent.We hope this continued education will equip our students to be active bystanders and report incidents of sexual violence.We also hope to be leaders in prevention efforts with programs that build a scaffold prevention approach throughout a student’s time at York College. ”
The It’s On Us PA campaign is part of a national initiative to raise awareness about sexual assault; teaching participants that assault includes non-consensual sex, advising them on how to identify dangerous situations, empowering them to intervene, and urging them to create an environment of support for victims and survivors.
“York College of PA first received an It’s On Us award in 2016. That continuing support has allowed the college to expand its program to include prevention efforts surrounding gender-based violence across the York College campus, at our affiliate York Country Day School, and at William Penn High School in York through the York College Community Opportunity Scholarship Program (YCCOSP), ”said Title IX Office Prevention Coordinator for York College Kayla Bailey.“ As an institution of higher learning, we recognize our responsibility to educate, support, and advocate for all students who are a part of our campus and local communities. “
Pennsylvanians are invited to visit the It’s On Us PA page on the governor’s website and take the pledge to “recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault, identify situations in which sexual assault may occur, intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given, and create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported. ”
“The It’s On Us PA grant has provided us the opportunity to further programming opportunities surrounding sexual assault awareness and prevention education on our campus. In an effort to effect change now, leading the It’s On Us campaign this academic year has stressed the importance of sexual assault awareness within our community, ”said Title IX Director for Gettysburg College Amanda Blaugher. “We are happy to host representatives from the Department of Education to showcase the work that is currently being done – and will continue – on our campus thanks to the support of this grant.”
Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year, residential college of liberal arts and sciences with approximately 2,600 students and over 65 academic programs. Gettysburg College is a three-time recipient of It’s On Us PA grants. York College was founded in 1787 and offers over 70 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs with a wide range in humanities and the sciences. York College is a five-time recipient of It’s On Us PA grants.
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