Stetson Receives $296,000 from U.S. Department of Justice

Seal of the U.S. Department of Justice

A 2019 survey of 856 college students at two- and four-year public and private institutions revealed that 89% of students at four-year private universities feel having a safe and secure campus is a priority. Stetson University is helping ensure students feel safe on campus thanks to a $296,000, three-year grant from the United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women. 

Stetson’s Wellness and Recreation Department is managing the grant, and will be teaming up with the DeLand Police Department and Volusia Rape Crisis Center to create a community collaborative response to enhance victim services, implement education and prevention programs, and strengthen campus security and investigation strategies in order to avert, prosecute and respond to dating and domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

portrait outside
Colleen Vanderlip

“The grant will enable Stetson University to improve its prevention efforts to the campus community with a particular emphasis on fraternity and sorority involvement, athletics and students with disabilities,” said Colleen Vanderlip, MA, director of Stetson’s Wellness and Recreation Department. “Through the creation of a community collaborative response with local law enforcement and victim service organizations, students will be more aware, better supported and feel empowered if faced with challenges related to sexual, dating and domestic violence and stalking.”

Grant funds also will be used to employ a project director who will develop a coordinated community response plan during the first year of the grant program. The plan will include training staff and students along with ensuring there is a joint effort between Stetson, the DeLand Police Department and Volusia Rape Crisis Center. The grant is renewable for two additional three-year periods.

Stetson coordinates with local law enforcement and victim resources whenever a student requires assistance after a crime has been committed. The grant project will provide a clear connection for crime victims who need help with criminal justice processes and supportive services.

-Sandra Carr