Focus on the role of men in sexual assault prevention nets Eastern Michigan University second state sexual assault prevention grant

University leads in funding over the two years of First Lady Sue Snyder’s special program

YPSILANTI – The State of Michigan has awarded Eastern Michigan University its second consecutive grant as a part of First Lady Sue Snyder’s sexual assault prevention on college campuses initiative.

Eastern received $51,186, the third largest award in the state. Last year, Eastern received the second highest award as part of the initial year of the program. Ellen Gold, assistant vice President of student well being at Eastern, prepared both grant proposals.

Of the 18 schools that just received an award, 11 of them also received an award last year. Adding the award amounts for the two years, EMU comes out on top in total funding over the two years, with a total of $105,112. Second is Lake Superior State, with $88,522.

'EMU Men of Strength'


Ellen Gold, assistant vice President of student well being at Eastern, prepared both grant proposals. She's shown here discussing EMU's program before state lawmakers.

Gold said the new EMU project this year is entitled, “EMU Men of Strength: Creating aRespectful Environment, or “MOST CARE.” The project is adapted from the Campus Men of Strength (MOST) Club, a part of the Men Can Stop Rape national strategy to engage college men in preventing violence against women, developing healthy masculinity, and organizing to create campuses free from violence.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies MOST (and Men Can Stop Rape) among the top gender violence prevention programs in the country.

Gold said the University’s overarching goal with the program is to: “Explore what Eastern’s male students can do to help reduce the incidence of sexual assault and other forms of violence against women on our campus and in our community.”

Gold listed three objectives for the program:

• Provide male students with a safe, supportive space to connect with male peers;

• Promote an understanding of the ways in which traditional masculinity contributes to sexual assault and other forms of men’s violence against women, and expose Eastern men to healthier, non-violent models of manhood;

• Build the capacity for male students to become peer leaders and allies with women.

Gold said that while the new project will offer the opportunity for any male student to be a part of the Campus Men of Strength (MOST) organization and program, the University targeted several intact male student groups for participation in the first year: student-athletes, Greek affiliated, veterans, ROTC, Brotherhood Program (students of color), and international students. 

Awareness campaign, plus active bystander training

The project will involve building a Men of Strength Program with several components: an awareness campaign, a MOST student organization, peer educator training; MOST educational programs and events, and active bystander training.

The awareness campaign will be tied into our EMU’s existing “I Choose” campaign to combat rape culture. Among the campaign are new posters that focus on male students who choose to “create a respectful environment” and encourage fellow students to become involved in MOST.

The program will also involve:

• Videos, including one that features students describing the importance of being a powerful ally in sexual assault prevention and awareness, and another video that addresses how to be an active bystander.

• Creating of a peer education program to train selected male students to assist in the facilitation of the EMU Speak Up Active Bystander Training that is currently in place.

• Educational workshops alongside professional male faculty and staff. The workshops would involve topics such as: Healthy Masculinity; Masculinity and Violence Against Women; Engaging Men as Allies in Sexual Assault Prevention, and more. 

• Two campus-wide events with national experts are part of the initiative: one at the start of the grant project to provide an overview of the MOST CARE project, and build enthusiasm for the work ahead; and the second to recognize the role of men’s voices and men as allies in building a cultural approach to gender violence prevention.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 22,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

December 05, 2016

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Geoff Larcom