The Violence Prevention Office is setting its sights on renewing a $300,000 federal grant to help advocate for sexual assault prevention.
Back in 2015, the Department of Justice gave Augustana a $300,000, 3-year grant to create an office to direct programs which help to prevent sexual harassment on campus. However, in a year, the grant will expire.
Lindsey Roberts, the main coordinator for the Violence Prevention Office, said the current grant will expire after Sept. 30th, 2018.
In order for the university to renew the grant, the Violence Prevention Office must show the DOJ what plans it has to grow the office in the future.
“The DOJ wants to make sure the grant is not just used to help sustain the office,” Roberts said. “They want to give the grant out to help the office grow.”
The office hopes to renew the grant in order to train staff, buy equipment and begin new programs.
If the office does renew the grant, it is not guaranteed that it will receive the same amount of money as last time.
Roberts said Augustana is competing with several other universities for renewal, which makes it difficult to get the same amount of money again.
The office will not know if it has received the grant until October 2018.
Beth Elam, assistant of the dean of students, said if the Violence Prevention program is unable to renew the grant the program will still live on, but may not be able to host all of the events or activities as usual.
The objective of the Violence Prevention Office is to teach students the dangers of sexual harassment and how to prevent future instances.
“I really want what we teach to the students to be something they remember forever, not something they hear once and forget it all within a week,” Roberts said.
Student advocate Emily Pratt said she hopes the office can renew the grant because it is a valuable tool for students.
“The things I learn thanks to the Violence Prevention program is stuff I really wished I would have know about back when I was in high school,” Pratt said.
Junior Jimmy Even said he thinks programs like It’s On Us are a good thing to have on campus, and he appreciates having the programs.
If students want to contact the Violence Prevention Office, it is located next to the campus clinic in the Solberg basement, or Roberts said students can set up an appointment with her through the Dean of Students Office.