Rosemont Receives Grant for Respect My Red Training
“Passion drives us to be effective agents of change,” said Katie Koestner, facilitator of Rosemont’s recent workshops on sexual misconduct prevention for faculty, staff, and students.
Rosemont College was awarded one of Pennsylvania’s Department of Education “It’s On Us,” grants for programs and trainings to raise awareness for campus sexual assault and prevention. As part of the grant, Rosemont held two Respect My Red workshops in the Rotwitt Theater on Wednesday, November 14.
The sessions were led by Katie Koestner, a national expert on student safety and healthy relationships and her Respect My Red team.
Following an introduction by Rosemont College President Sharon Hirsh, PhD, Koestner and her colleagues led two sessions: an afternoon session for adult students, administrators, faculty, and staff focused on sexual misconduct prevention and awareness, with a special focus on inclusivity and outreach to men; and an evening session for Rosemont students and local high school students focused on respectful relationships and sexual misconduct prevention.
“We are thankful for this grant and the ability to invite high school students to the programs,” said Jane Federowicz, assistant vice president of human resources and Title IX coordinator at Rosemont College. “We are committed to educating our students on sexual misconduct prevention as well as educating and preparing high school students to enter college through these training initiatives.”
Rosemont invited students, administrators, and staff members from 15 local high schools to attend the workshops as part of the grant, including Friends Central, George School, Haverford High School, Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, Merion Mercy Academy, Sacred Heart Academy, Springside Chestnut Hill, St. Joseph’s Preparatory School, The Baldwin School, Villa Maria Academy, Westtown School, and Valley Forge Military Academy.
“This is an unprecedented event at the national level,” said Katie Koestner. “This event at Rosemont is the first to bring high school and college students together in a forum through Respect My Red to formally look at the curriculum around sexual violence prevention.”
Koestner is the Executive Director of Campus Outreach Services and Take Back the Night Foundation and Development Director of Respect My Red, an inclusive program that educates participants on the definition of consent and promotes discussion on what it means to show and get respect and empowers participants that they have control over their sexuality, religious beliefs, morals, and values.
“We want to elevate the conversation around sexual misconduct for the K-12 groups so they better understand the importance of starting earlier regarding policy and protocol,” said Koestner.
In September 2016, Governor Tom Wolf announced that eligible postsecondary institutions in Pennsylvania could apply for up to $30,000 in funding to address campus sexual assault. Rosemont was one of 36 postsecondary institutions in Pennsylvania to be awarded a grant out of more than 60 schools that applied for the “It’s On Us” grant program.
Koestner has lectured across the country at more than 5,000 schools and other organizations, including MIT, Yale, Stanford, and Brown.
“What amazed me about Rosemont College is the human connection of the staff,” she said. “At Rosemont I see the compassion and understanding for the best interests of each person and the whole community.”
Rosemont College is committed to upholding and implementing the three pillars of the “It’s On Us” campaign: consent education, increasing bystander intervention, and creating an environment that supports survivors. Among the initiatives planned for the 2018-2019 academic year is a gender and sexual misconduct campus climate survey, which was given to students, faculty, and staff at Rosemont College and 15 area high schools.
Quoting Rosemont’s tagline, Koestner added, “The power of small is what we’re about,” she said. “The trainings we had at Rosemont should become the role model for the whole country and be replicated everywhere.”