Albright College is one of only 39 higher education institutions in the state to earn an “It’s On Us PA” grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for 2023. Established nearly seven years ago by Governor Tom Wolf, It’s On Us PA is the nation’s first statewide campaign to combat campus sexual assault and violence. Albright has been awarded $40,000 for 2023.
“PDE is committed to supporting efforts that keep college campuses safe, inclusive, and welcoming spaces for all students,” said Acting Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty. “The It’s On Us PA campaign cultivates change and provides colleges, universities, and postsecondary career and trade schools with the support and resources necessary to protect learning environments and ensure they are free from sexual assault, harassment, and violence.”
Each year, Albright College tackles discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct on campus by pursuing grants, strengthening partnerships, attending training and certification courses, reviewing and updating policies and procedures and responding to incidents. Grant dollars help to fund this important work while raising awareness and building resources to support the prevention of sexual assault on campus.
The national It’s On Us campaign teaches participants that assault includes non-consensual sex, advises to identify dangerous situations, empowers bystanders to intervene, and urges all to create an environment of support for victims and survivors.
Meanwhile, the statewide campaign helps to fund initiatives that protect students from sexual violence. Winning grants for the past four consecutive years has helped Albright to implement significant initiatives on campus, such as:
- An anonymous online form to report discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct;
- Online EVERFI Sexual Assault Awareness training, available to all students;
- Maxient software to enhance tracking mechanisms for Title IX, Clery and the Violence Against Woman Act;
- Bystander Intervention and Campus SaVE (Sexual Violence and Elimination Act) training
- Athletic NCAA compliance programs and educational programming with academic departments.
As colleges across the country are heightening vigilance on issues of sexual misconduct, Albright has chosen to seek transformational change through grant and programming opportunities and collaborative arrangements that address campus-wide safety and Title IX concerns.
In 2016, Albright College was the first institution in Berks County to develop a collaborative relationship with SAFE Berks. Today, the college’s SAFE Berks Campus Advocate provides free and confidential services to students on campus who have been victims of sexual assault, harassment, stalking or dating/domestic violence. Some of these services include one-on-one counseling, legal representation and advocacy in obtaining a Protection from Abuse Order, or Sexual Violence Protection Order.
Albright also holds a memorandum of understanding with the Reading and Muhlenberg Police Departments pertaining to campus awareness, prevention, education and response to sexual violence.