PLAINVIEW, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) — The following is a press release from Wayland Baptist University:
Wayland Baptist University has been awarded a grant of $299,956 by the Department of Justice to fund safety programs on the Wayland campus. The grant will be used as part of the Protecting Pioneers initiative, to increase safety measures and educate students on the dangers of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking (DVSAS). Student training will focus on how to protect themselves and others.
Specifically, the project will increase training, including bystander intervention training, for all students, while developing local programs and enhancing security on the Plainview campus. The training will also educate students on the reporting process and protocols, and provide access to local and national resources for assistance. The training will address such topics as filing local criminal charges, common myths about the causes of violence against women, how to support peers who are victims, and the benefits of reporting these crimes.
Wayland Senior Vice President of Operations and Student Life Dr. Claude Lusk said the biggest need on campus is to simply educate students about the dangers of DVSAS.
“This grant will provide significant support in the area of prevention programs, training and education,” Lusk said. “We believe that increasing the level of awareness for all concerned regarding sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking is the best place to start.”
Wayland currently has a very low rate of dating violence and sexual assault on campus, but each report is taken seriously. The administration understands, however, that these types of crimes tend to be underreported, thus the need to increase education and the availability of resources.
The grant will also fund the installation of 23 surveillance cameras and 20 keyless entry systems on the Plainview campus, including electronic door locks on residence halls that are not already equipped with an advanced locking system. Wayland will form a coordinated community response team with participation from the Crisis Center and Plainview Police Department in order to increase information sharing and make services more efficient. Education programs will also be developed and made accessible to students through online and in-person delivery methods.
Lusk said that along with practical application of safety systems and education, the grant will also help provide stronger victim services and advocacy. The focus of the Protecting Pioneers initiative is to ensure that all students at all WBU campuses and online feel safe.
“We are excited to be receiving this grant that will further enhance the level of safety on our campus,” Lusk said.
(Press release from Wayland Baptist University)