U-M campuses receive nearly $150K for sexual assault prevention


Two University of Michigan campuses have again received grant funding from the state of Michigan to support programs to prevent sexual assault on campus.

The Ann Arbor campus and UM-Flint were among 25 institutions to receive part of $1 million from the Campus Sexual Assault Grant Program offered by the Michigan State Police.

“This grant allows us to expand our prevention education initiatives through collaborations with colleagues across the university to offer engaging, new programs,” says Kaaren Williamsen, director of U-M’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center.

The grant awards are part of former Michigan first lady Susan Snyder’s “Inform. Empower. Prevent. Let’s End Campus Sexual Assault” initiative. This is the fourth round of grants for both campuses since the program was announced in June 2015.

The funding amounts are $21,091 for Ann Arbor and $125,175 for Flint.

The Ann Arbor funding will support a new program that promotes the values of healthy relationships and consent to men in order to combat harmful social messages that may influence their expectations of masculinity and sex.

The program, Michigan Men: An Expedition of Manhood, was developed in collaboration between SAPAC, Fraternity and Sorority Life and the Office of Student Conflict and Resolution.

The Michigan Men program provides an opportunity for conversations around masculinity, and supports individuals in developing their own individualized masculine identities.

“Masculine identity and what it means to every person is incredibly diverse and individualized,” says Jim McEvilly, case manager at the Office of Student Conflict Resolution.

“However, it is rare to encounter focused conversations with other men or masculine-identified folks around what their identity means to them, how they live out their identity every day, and the challenges and joys they may encounter.”

The program is designed to provide students with a deeper understanding of their own personal masculinity; give them additional skills to support the development of healthy, consensual relationships; and identify strategies to promote not only their own well-being, but also the well-being of their intimate partners and larger community.

It will engage fraternity men in healthy-masculinity workshops that focus on developing individualized, wellness-promoting masculine identities, teaching actionable consent and healthy relationships skills, and creating fraternity cultures where sexual misconduct is not tolerated or viewed as acceptable.

U-M will assess the program’s effectiveness based on the number of students that participate in programming, the representation of different fraternity chapters within programming, and the demonstration of increased understanding by program participants in key programmatic objectives.

The Flint campus will use the funding to expand the reach of current programs offered through the Center for Gender and Sexuality, as well as provide additional funding and student staff to offer more content on requested topics, such as healthy masculinity and inclusive sex education.

The center also plans on offering sexual violence prevention workshops to area bartenders.


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