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Education

SDSU Gets $200K To Prevent, Respond To Sexual Assault

Students are shown walking on the campus of San Diego State University,  May 7, 2008.
Associated Press
Students are shown walking on the campus of San Diego State University, May 7, 2008.

Programs to prevent and respond to campus sexual assaults are set to expand at San Diego State University and UC San Diego, the schools announced Thursday.

SDSU announced that a $200,000 state grant will fund a full-time sexual assault victims advocate on campus, to be trained and hired through the Center for Community Solutions, which operates a rape crisis center in San Diego.

The money will also allow SDSU to dedicate a part-time police officer to sexual assault prevention, training and investigation.

"For months, administrators from across campus have been meeting to discuss the best ways to combat sexual violence on campus," said Jessica Rentto, associate vice president for business and financial affairs, and the Title IX coordinator for SDSU.

"This grant provides SDSU with additional resources allowing us to fund additional positions focused on sexual violence prevention and it provides resources so that SDSU can implement cutting edge programs and activities," Rentto said.

The SDSU campus community was rocked by a series of sexual assaults last semester.

UCSD officials said their Sexual Assault and Violence Prevention Resource Center will expand its services to provide crisis intervention and advocacy to faculty and staff — in addition to students. The center's name was changed to CARE: Advocacy Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Misconduct.

"Sexual assault and sexual violence are intolerable and serious crimes," said UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla.

"Preventing sexual misconduct is a top priority for UC San Diego," Khosla said. "Through the expanded services of CARE, our campus will continue to work diligently to create a safe, respectful and positive environment for all members of the UC San Diego community."

CARE serves as the primary point of contact for victims and survivors who need advocacy, support services and/or assistance with reporting options, according to UCSD.

All members of the university community who receive information or reports from victims have been instructed to refer individuals to the CARE Advocacy Office. The center will continue to coordinate education and prevention efforts, such as campus-wide campaigns and workshops on violence prevention.