SFU Awarded $28K Grant to Combat Sexual Assault


One of Saint Francis’ top priorities is to ensure the safety of every student and the University recently secured a grant to help it better achieve this mission. 

Saint Francis has received a $28,500 grant from the state of Pennsylvania to help fight against sexual assault. 

The grant is part of the commonwealth’s “It’s On Us” initiative, a state-sponsored project intended to help schools create programs to educate and improve both awareness and response to sexual violence on campus. 

Pennsylvania state representative Frank Burns (72nd District/Cambria County) played a crucial role in the University securing the grant. 

Associate Dean of Students Lynne Banks, along with those who work in SFU’s Office of Student Engagement, were also instrumental in securing the grant.

“Lynne is very good about (addressing) campus risks and safety,” said President Malachi Van Tassell. 

“She and some of the team over there were the ones who identified the opportunity, did the paperwork, and prepared the narrative.”

The first step in the program is educating the community at large to show its members the University’s values, and to build up one another.

Father Malachi said the University’s top priority is to always make sure the values and vision of Saint Francis are upheld. 

“I’m very grateful to Lynne and her team,” said Van Tassell. “I’m very pleased we can use this for programming that will raise awareness and really help us to build on the Franciscan foundation that we have here.” 

Saint Francis was one of 36 colleges and universities to be awarded a grant through this program.