Kalamazoo College is receiving nearly $300,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice through a shared grant to proactively prevent domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking on campus.
K is the only Michigan institution and one of just a few small private schools among 60 colleges and universities nationwide to receive part of the $18 million being distributed. K’s portion, totaling $298,698, will:
- create a Campus Coordinated Community Response Team;
- expand training for campus safety officers and Title IX investigators;
- expand victim services;
- hire a full-time project coordinator who will focus on culturally relevant prevention efforts;
- further enhance the College’s focus on student safety; and
- support a K partnership with the Kalamazoo YWCA and the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. The partnership will bring a victim advocate to campus for 20 hours a week and formalize response to incidents that involve students in the city.
“This grant is very competitive, so we’re excited to have this additional funding and support,” said Ellen Lassiter Collier, K’s Title IX coordinator and director of gender equity. She added documented endorsements of existing efforts from students, faculty and staff likely were determining factors for the Department of Justice in securing the shared grant.
“This kind of grant traditionally goes to public schools,” Lassiter Collier said. “That speaks to the work the College is already doing and the support we receive from across campus.”
K’s existing efforts include programs such as Green Dot, which offers bystander training that statistically reduces the likelihood of dating and domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault. Green Dot at K is funded through the State of Michigan Campus Sexual Assault Grant Program, which gave the College about $18,600 in 2016 and $41,800 in 2017.
The Department of Justice grant, though, will enhance such efforts and others, including the creation of targeted online training programs for students, to ensure the programs and training materials are culturally competent considering K’s diversity, and relevant to its student experiences such as study abroad.
With study abroad, for example, “We want students to know that the College is still a source of support and potential investigation should something happen abroad,” Lassiter Collier said.
For more information on the grant from the Department of Justice, visit its website.