Culver-Stockton College receives $371,286 grant from Department of Justice for campus safety

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CANTON, Mo. — Culver-Stockton College recently was awarded a $371,286 grant from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to further the college’s commitment to campus safety.

The funding is made possible through the DOJ’s Office of Violence Against Women Fiscal Year 2023 Grants to Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking on Campus. According to Angie Royal, vice president of student experience, the grant will fund the “Wildcat Way: Consent, Respect, and Healthy Relationships” initiative on campus. 

In a press release, Royal said, “At C-SC, we take student safety extremely seriously. We are thrilled to receive the grant to help us strengthen our commitment to our students to provide a secure place for them to thrive while focusing on their education. This funding will allow us to build on programs already in place and implement new strategies and procedures under the umbrella of a new initiative that will serve as a foundation for external and internal collaboration.”

The three-year grant, which took effect Oct. 1 and runs through Sept. 30, 2026, is awarded to higher learning institutions by the DOJ following a rigorous peer review of the application. The proposal includes a narrative outline, the purpose and components of the initiative. The DOJ employs the help of victim advocates, judges, legal professionals, police officers and others to perform the peer and programmatic reviews of the applications. 

Providing a safe campus environment is a top priority at Culver-Stockton College for students, employees and guests. This has been achieved through campus security measures and various educational awareness programs facilitated by the college. The Wildcat Way program, funded through this grant opportunity, will assist with the expansion of prevention education and awareness to develop and strengthen security and investigation strategies that target domestic violence, violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking on campus.

“A big part of the initiative will be providing victim services in cases involving those crimes on campus,” said Caitlin Erickson, head women’s lacrosse coach, Title IX Coordinator and grant team member. “The program will include outreach services, civil and criminal justice responses, prevention and support for survivors of those crimes, especially for underserved communities, particularly the LGBTQ community.”

Royal said the first year of grant funding will involve a planning year to hire a project director and develop the Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT). Members of CCRT will be students, campus partners, victim advocates and local law enforcement.

The team will be an integral part of the strategic planning process, responsible for reviewing policies and procedures and establishing relationships with internal partners as well as external partners, including law enforcement agencies, prosecutors’ offices, courts, and nonprofits, nongovernmental victim advocacy and victim services organizations. C-SC will work closely with AVENUES, a local nonprofit that provides advocacy services for domestic and sexual violence victims, as well as local law enforcement agencies. 

“The Coordinated Community Response Team members will also work to build on the campus’ current response to and the prevention of sexual assault, domestic and dating violence and stalking,” said W.G. Lewis, director of campus security and grant team member. “Our comprehensive prevention programming will include bystander intervention training as well as ongoing response training to all campus law enforcement members and all personnel in the campus resolution process.”

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