Misericordia University was represented in Harrisburg on Wednesday, Sept. 6 when a group of legislators, advocates and college students joined Gov. Tom Wolf when he announced a series of legislative efforts to address sexual violence on college campuses and in K-12 schools.
A package of six bills, including a bill by state Sen. Lisa Baker, R-20th, was announced as part of Pennsylvania's "It's On Us PA'' initiative that combats sexual assaults and offers better protections for students and improved reporting and protocols for appropriate responses.
Misericordia University launched its own "It's On Us"' campaign in the spring of 2016 to encourage healthy relationships and prevent sexual assault. More than 400 members of the campus community, including students, staff, faculty and administration attended the program that was hosted by the peer educators' student organization, Promoting Healthy Relationships Through Education Empowerment (PHREE).
The campus came together again in the fall when President Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D., and representatives of Gov. Tom Wolf, Sen. Baker, and Rep. Karen Boback, R-117, participated in the "It's On Us PA" pledge and officially signed it.
"Rooted in a strong mission, grounded in the values of Catherine McCauley and the Sisters of Mercy, Misericordia University is a place where we stand strong with respect for the human person," President Botzman said before signing the pledge in October 2016. "I welcome you to join me in supporting Misericordia's 'It's On Us' campaign and our campus commitment to fostering healthy relationships, offering support and educating our community on the call to action to end sexual violence.''
Launched in 2014, the national initiative is an awareness campaign to help put an end to sexual assault on college campuses. "It's On Us" asks everyone to make a personal commitment to be part of the solution. Many colleges and universities – including Misericordia University – throughout the country have joined the discussion and stand strong in the prevention ownership by implementing their own campaigns.
Misericordia University was among 36 postsecondary institutions of higher education in Pennsylvania that were awarded nearly $1 million collectively in November 2016 from the inaugural "It's On Us PA"' grant program to address campus sexual assault.
Misericordia received $25,400 from the grants program to implement strategies on campus to address the goals of the governor's campaign. More than 60 applicants competed for funding. Grants recipients were selected using a blind evaluation process by a team assembled by the state Department of Education.
Photo Credit: Senate of Pennsylvania
Misericordia University was represented in Harrisburg on Wednesday, Sept. 6 when a group of legislators, advocates and college students gathered in the Capitol Rotunda to join Gov. Tom Wolf when he announced a series of legislative efforts to address sexual violence on college campuses and in K-12 schools. Participating in the program, from left, are Sen. Lisa Baker, Charles Edkins, director of athletics, Misericordia University; Ewelina Taran, Office of Residence Life, Misericordia University; Amy Lahart, dean of students, Misericordia University, and Rep. Karen Boback.