Recently, the University received a $300,000, three-year grant from the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women Campus Grant Program. Across the nation, only 21 other colleges have been selected to receive the same grant.
“This grant program is very competitive and is highly sought-after funding for colleges and universities nationwide each year. Receiving this grant is an honor, recognition of the work we are doing and validation of our collective campus leadership and the direction in which we are headed,” Tracy Shaynak, director of the Women’s Resource Center, said.
The grant will be used to expand education and enhance services that will strengthen responses to many issues both on and off campus, including dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
“We will partner with student leaders, our Speak UP Peer Educators and others to actively engage more students in the work that lies ahead. We can’t accomplish what we need to without more students stepping up and recognizing that everyone has a stake in these issues, and everyone has a responsibility to promote and protect a safer campus for all students,” Shaynak said.
Mainly, the grant will be used to fund a prevention coordinator position, one dedicated to enhancing education for students focused on promoting positive bystander behavior. The grant will also help offset costs for the Speak UP Bucknell Peer Education program.
Co-directing the grant with Shaynak is Marie Shaw, a psychologist for Psychological Services.
“The work from this grant will have an impact across campus with many departments as well as off-campus partners. For example, a campus community response team has been created to achieve greater coordination and communication among services both on-and off-campus. Additionally, a new position focused solely on coordinating prevention services has been created,” Shaw said.
The grant also allows for the Women’s Resource Center to work with Transitions, a local crisis center affiliated with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR). This collaboration will provide training for local law enforcement both on campus and downtown, and also give opportunities to work with survivors of assault and other issues.
“The expected outcomes we hope to achieve at the conclusion of the grant include enhanced relationships with newly formed Buffalo Valley Regional Police Department, Public Safety, Transitions and campus,” Shaw said.
“I am most excited about this grant because it validates that Bucknell has its programs, initiatives, relationships and future goals aligned that will allow us to move forward and begin to create meaningful awareness and change on our campus. That, in combination with working with students who are committed to partnering with us in this process, is incredibly rewarding,” Shaynak said.