WSU receives grant from State for sexual assault prevention
By Greg Bird
The State of Michigan recently awarded Wayne State University a grant to implement an innovative and strategic sexual assault prevention program on campus. This grant comes through First Lady Sue Snyder’s “Let’s End Campus Sexual Assault” initiative.
All together, 18 community colleges and universities in Michigan received a portion of the $500,000 through this initiative this year. It is expected that there will be additional grant funding available next year as well.
The funds for Wayne State University will be used to develop a peer education program focused on prevention education within the Wayne State community, and with several of the Detroit-area high schools.
Rachel Kollin, coordinator of student wellness and prevention programs, led the grant-writing and believes the peer education program will further develop dialogues about sexual assault.
“The students know the experience firsthand, and they really understand what the barriers to reporting and intervening are,” said Kollin. “From an administrative perspective, you can guess based on research and reading, but no amount of that puts you in the unique position of being a Wayne State student.”
The grant application review committee included representatives from the Michigan State Police, the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board and the Executive Office of the Governor.
It was also recently announced that First Lady Snyder will hold a third “Inform. Empower. Prevent. Let’s End Campus Sexual Assault” summit on the campus of Eastern Michigan University on September 25th. The goal of the day-long summit will be making Michigan a model state in the fight against sexual assault among the college-age population.
The summit brings together university representatives, state legislators, law enforcement officials, students and national experts for a day of learning, conversation and collaboration in an effort to identify current best practices and discuss problems. The summit will continue the conversation of campus assault and is an ongoing campaign to inform communities, empower individuals and ultimately bring an end to campus sexual assault.