Last semester, Geneseo’s PREVENT (Prevention, Reduction, and Education on Violence to Engage in Training) Program did not receive the $300,00 grant from the United States Office on Violence Against Women to fund the initiatives and educational programs that the PREVENT program supported.
Despite this setback, the Title IX Office continues to work towards establishing both prevention education and access to resources concerning sexual assault and dating violence.
“The fact that we did not receive the grant was disheartening and upsetting,” Marcus Foster, Title IX coordinator, said. “However, we still have the priority of meeting the needs of our community and continuing to host workshop opportunities to continue tabling events and providing resources to individuals who have experienced any form of interpersonal violence.”
The PREVENT Program established education and community engagement around the reduction and elimination of dating and sexual violence. For the past three years, the program has run New Student Trainings, Green Dot, One Love and other programs directed towards preventing sexual assault and dating violence and establishing healthy relationships. The PREVENT program continues to run despite the loss of funding.
Some students expressed their concern about the loss of funding because of the possible consequences that this could have on the college and the community.
“It is definitely a bit nerve-wracking,” psychology major freshman Abigail George said. “It’s a shame that we couldn’t get [the grant] this time. Because a lot of the women here on campus are young women, and I know some that are vocal and some that aren’t vocal, and not having that program might be a setback for them.”
George said that students may not learn the resources that are available to them, and that victims may not know how to seek help, or where to look for it.
“I hope that the school could figure out a way to start something to keep it present here on campus,” George said. “This would be important for young women and for young men as well.”
The Title IX Office is exploring other possible funding for the PREVENT program, according to Foster. The loss of federal funding will only affect the PREVENT Program. The Title IX response resources will not be affected by the sudden changes that have taken place.
As the initiatives that the PREVENT Program created continue and the Title IX Office searches for new sources of funding, Foster encourages students to not lose faith in Title IX’s efforts to prevent and respond to incidences of sexual assault and dating violence.
“We still work tirelessly to ensure that prevention education is a priority. That’s something that we have tried to make clear, since last October,” Foster said. “What I would ask people to do is have confidence in the work that the Title IX office is doing.”