IUP has received a second $30,000 grant through Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf's “It's On Us PA” initiative to combat campus sexual assault.

This grant follows an initial $30,000 in funds received in 2016, used to launch the Green Dot bystander intervention program at IUP in 2017. This year's funds will continue the Green Dot initiative with special focus on programs for men, including speakers, film screenings, and an extensive “It's On Us IUP” social marketing campaign.

The Green Dot model views all community members as potential bystanders and gives them the tools they need to recognize and respond to high-risk situations. The Green Dot curriculum, built on the base of significant national research, has been shown to prevent multiple forms of interpersonal violence when a critical mass of individuals are engaged as peers in the effort.

In the first year of this three-year program, focus was on training faculty and staff. This year's initiative will collaborate with several entities on campus to reach a variety of student leaders.

Green Dot is based in the Haven Project, which provides counseling and support for students who experience sexual and domestic/relationship violence. The Haven Project also provides education on sexual and domestic/relationship violence, stalking, consent, and bystander education.

“It is very gratifying to receive a second year of funding for this important initiative,” IUP President Michael Driscoll said.

“IUP recognizes that our responsibility to protect each other from sexual violence in all forms is a serious matter. We have launched and sustained significant efforts to ensure that all of our students, faculty, and staff have been trained to prevent sexual violence and to support victims.

“We are committed to this shared responsibility, and we are pleased to be among the one of the first universities signing Governor Wolf's ‘It's On Us PA' pledge. I am proud of the ingenuity, innovation, dedication, and hard work of the IUP team, particularly the Haven Project, in leading us forward in the fight to combat sexual violence,” Driscoll said.

Jessica Miller, associate professor and psychologist and director of IUP's Haven Project, authored both grant proposals and directs the Green Dot initiative.

“Obviously budgets are tight, so being able to have funds to reach students to give them the education and skills they need is huge,” she said. “It's also very positive to have a governor that supports addressing these issues, which continue to be an issue on college campuses, and the support of our university leadership.”

More than 500 members of the IUP community have participated in Green Dot training.

“Green Dot is way to engage our entire community, not just survivors or perpetrators, to increase awareness on campus to help everyone feel safer on campus,” Miller said. “Feedback we have received from men at IUP is that they often feel blamed and defensive in traditional programming.

“We believe that the Green Dot model is the perfect model to include men as allies in the fight to decrease power based personal violence at IUP. ‘Green Dots for Men' will help ensure that critical mass exists at IUP by specifically engaging men in the fight for culture change to end sexual violence at IUP,” Miller said.

The Green Dot program will expand in fall 2019 to include programs for first-year students.

All are welcome to get involved in the Green Dot program. For more information, persons can email green-dot@iup.edu.