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TAMIU Receives Partner HHS Grant for Cultivating Safe College Campuses Posted: 8/05/16

TAMIU Receives Partner HHS Grant for Cultivating Safe College Campuses

 

Dr. Claudia San Miguel
Dr. Claudia San Miguel  

National efforts to prevent sexual assault on U.S. college campuses will be enhanced thanks to a partner grant awarded to Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

TAMIU will partner with Texas Woman’s University (TWU).  TWU was awarded a three-year grant totaling $750,000, for a project titled, “Cultivating Safe College Campuses: A College Sexual Assault Policy and Prevention Consortium.”

TAMIU principal investigator Dr. Claudia San Miguel, interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of Criminal Justice, explained the grant’s intent.

“The grant seeks to promote awareness of campus safety measures as well as the various services and outreach efforts that TAMIU provides to students involved in these types of incidents. For instance, our University Police Department (UPD) has officers trained to be sexual assault advocates who provide immediate and effective crisis intervention services to victims and survivors of sexual assault. UPD also has a Sexual Assault/Abuse Response Team (SAART) that is knowledgeable and ready to quickly respond to sexual assaults on campus. Together with the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Student Counseling and Services, our university is well-prepared to respond to incidents—although sexual assaults do not occur frequently here,” Dr. San Miguel said.  

The College Sexual Assault Policy and Prevention Initiative provides funding to increase awareness of sexual assault on college campuses and implement successful prevention policies. It also supports the implementation and evaluation of the recommendations from the White House Task Force on Campus Sexual Assault – Not Alone and It's On Us campaigns. TAMIU launched the It’s On Us campaign last fall.

San Miguel said the grant would begin its efforts this Fall.

"We hope that it will further cultivate a campus environment where all members of our campus community—faculty, administrators, staff members, and students— feel a sense of share responsibility in addressing and preventing campus sexual assault,” she explained.  

Nancy C. Lee, deputy assistant secretary for health-women’s health and director of HHS Office on Women’s Health, said the work the grant will fund is essential.

“We see this program as a significant step toward our office’s efforts to prevent violence against women. The work from this program is essential to strengthening violence prevention policies that can be sustained on college campuses beyond this initiative,” Lee noted.

In addition to TAMIU and TWU, Consortium members include the Council for Public University Presidents and Chancellors, Texas Council of Chief Student Affairs Offices, American Student Government Association, Association for Student Conduct Administration, National Panhellenic Council, Hardin-Simmons University, McMurry University, North Central Texas College, Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University and the University of North Texas.

The Consortium was created to address the serious and pervasive problem of sexual assault on college and university campuses in Texas. The Grant is part of a $6 million grant awarded to nine other cooperative agreements.

For more information, contact San Miguel at 956.326. 2633, email csanmiguel@tamiu.edu, or visit office in the Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center, suite 301.