Ferris State University has received funding, from the state of Michigan, to support a multidisciplinary collaborative team of faculty, staff and students to establish a coalition to change campus culture and help prevent sexual violence.
Dean of Student Life Joy Pufhal said that Ferris was one of 22 public and private higher education institutions approved for a Let’s End Campus Sexual Assault grant.
“We were fortunate to be awarded $39,675 through this program,” Pufhal said. “Our grant objectives include building our campus-wide capacity of faculty, staff and students to deliver anti-violence prevention, awareness and education on our campuses.”
Coordinator of Greek Life and Student Life Project Manager Ashley Schulte said that more than 30 members of the campus community, including faculty, staff and peer educators, were recruited and trained to become active participants in the Anti-Violence Coalition.
“Those who were asked to join the coalition and commit themselves to preventing sexual violence did so enthusiastically,” Schulte said. “We are thankful that the university has also provided financial support and resources so that we can meet our goal to develop a trained critical mass of people capable of spreading the important message of bystander intervention.”
Pufhal and Schulte said that branding for the curriculum is still in development and the university’s Admissions office is preparing to offer a training module as part of online or campus-based orientation so that the sessions can be offered to new Ferris students. The project timeline proposes that all athletic and club sports team, all fraternities and sororities, and new students be offered prevention education workshops during the 2019-20 academic year.
The coalition will be reporting on various outcomes to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Organizers said that their primary motivation is establishing an environment where bystanders are aware of and active in their role, to help prevent the incidence of sexual violence on Ferris’ campus and in the surrounding community.
“The coalition wants to make a lasting investment in our people, so that we can offer this training and nurture peer educators each year, regardless of whether the program is supported by grant dollars at any future point,” Pufhal said.
PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured (top) is Joy Pufhal, dean of Student Life, and (bottom) Ashley Schulte, coordinator of Greek Life and Student Life Project manager, at Ferris State University.
Anti-Violence Coalition Video: Short Version
Anti-Violence Coalition Video: Long Version