Marquette Wire

Marquette receives grant to develop sexual assault programs, help survivors

Nicki Perry

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Marquette received a grant from Aurora Health Care on July 31 as an aid to develop programs that focus on sexual assault and helping its survivors.

“One of our primary goals with this grant is to increase our advocacy,” said Emily Schumacker-Novak, coordinator of advocacy services and sexual violence prevention and education. “We’re really, really grateful for the grant fund.”

In total, the university received $209,429 from the grant. Schumacker-Novak said there are several matters toward which she plans to put the money.

“I’m the only person on-call 24/7 right now,” Schumacker-Novak said. “With this grant, we’re able to hire a second person to serve a full-time advocacy role.”

Other plans include increasing programming for men, integrating response, education and advocacy for students, sharing resources across a newly convened consortium of schools and building their capacity for a four-year education and prevention model.

“I think we put together a strong application,” Schumacker-Novak said. “We thought critically about how we’re going to do sexual violence prevention on campus.”

Twenty-two other organizations, colleges and universities also won grants from Aurora. Those include University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Sojourner Family Peace Center.

To apply for a grant, Mark Huber, senior vice president of social responsibility for Aurora, said there were certain criteria to meet. Applicants had to be a (Section) 501(c)(3) university or college with a minimum population size of 4,000 students.

Huber said once the list of finalists was narrowed down, an advisory board of the organization’s leaders came together to choose the winners.

“There were a number of sub-criteria,” Huber said. “We looked at all the organizations and looked at what impact the programs would impose as well as the quality of impact.”

Huber said the advisory board had to look at the details of each application to divide the $3.4 million total grant money. Each organization asked for different amounts which far exceeded the funding that was available.

“We’re very excited about the Marquette University grant,” Huber said. “(Marquette) submitted an application that the committee felt would be successful in making an impact.”

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