During September 2018, Wilson was awarded nearly $300,000 by the U.S. Department of Justice on Violence Against Women (OVW) Grant. Wilson is one of three higher education institutions in Pennsylvania to receive this grant which also includes Arcadia University and Juniata College.
Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students Mary Beth Williams wanted to apply for the grant when she first started at Wilson in 2014; however, the grant itself is a lengthy 76-page application which must be completed in the time frame of one month. This was a grant too large for Wilson to do on their own because grants are essentially a job in itself and require a lot of preparation.
In 2018, the idea of applying for the grant came back up on the table. Williams kept passionate about applying for the grant. With third party help from McAllister & Quinn, a consulting firm located in Washington D.C., Wilson was able to apply for the grant. Aside from Williams, Margaret Light, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, and Megan Cavanaugh, Director of Counseling, assisted in the writing of the grant as well. This was the first grant that Wilson has successfully received with the help of McAllister & Quinn. The grant was submitted March 2018 and was awarded September 2018.
“I really feel at a small college. This grant can be a game changer and help us continue to grow. This can help us be better caretakers of each other,” Williams commented.
This grant is for all students: residential, commuter, and adult degree. It is important to train our whole campus community on topics and issues such as sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking on campus. Phoenix Against Violence (PAV) was created with the hope that with this grant, it will be utilized to pave a better future for Wilson.
“It’s three years to change a campus culture and leave the campus better than they found it,” Williams added.
The purpose of the grant is a trifold concept. Part one will be connecting resources here at Wilson and resources with Women in Need (WIN) and the Chambersburg Police Department. This will build a community focus but also show students that they can use these resources with fluidity. The second part of the grant is to provide bystander intervention programming. This will help students take care of their friends. Learning how to better protect your friends is a great resource in campus safety. The third part is making sure our training and policies in sexual misconduct as a college are in line with federal law.
The first goal of the grant is to hire a project coordinator. The project coordinator will be supervised by the Director of Counseling. Their office will be housed in the counseling services, and the project coordinator will work in part of the Wellness Center.
In the spring semester, students can keep a look out for programs and upcoming events sponsored by this grant.