A recent grant to 10 Baltimore-area colleges and universities will be used to work toward better prevention and response to sexual violence.
McDaniel College, along with nine other colleges and universities, together received a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to "generate new strategies to prevent, respond to, investigate, and hold offenders accountable for sexual assault and dating violence, and strengthen trauma-informed, victim services on campus and in the community," according to a news release from McDaniel.
What this means for McDaniel, according to Cheryl Knauer, director of media relations at the college, is being able to develop new programming. Loyola University is the main institution for the grant, she said. But this 10-school coalition allows for colleges and universities to work together and address sexual assault prevention, she added.
McDaniel has already been working in these areas, Knauer said.
"We really feel like we've been at the forefront," she added.
Since 2012, the school has had a sexual assault prevention committee. It also partners with community organizations like Rape Crisis Intervention Service of Carroll County, she said.
And throughout the year, McDaniel hosts programs — notably, during April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Knauer added.
McDaniel has also created programming that takes place during new student orientation. Students go through a bystander intervention training, she said. There's additional training given to resident assistants, peer mentors and student leaders.
The plan for the grant isn't set in stone yet, Knauer said.
"There will be conversations about what that will go toward," she added.
Carroll County Daily Headlines
But, it will likely go toward training, possibly an interactive mobile application all the schools could utilize, videos and more. And if any money is left, there could also be the chance to use it to put into programs the college is already doing, she added.
"For us, it's important to work together with the other colleges," Knauer said. "It demonstrates how important this topic is. Not just here at McDaniel, but for all colleges and universities."
In addition to McDaniel, the Baltimore Area Higher Education Coalition against Sexual Violence is composed of the Community College of Baltimore County, Coppin State University, Goucher College, Loyola University Maryland, Maryland Institute College of Art, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Stevenson University, Towson University, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, according to the release.
"[By partnering], we can do more," Knauer said.