To stem the rising tide of sexual assault, and with funding from the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), Felician University will work closely with the YMCA’s healingSPACE—Bergen County’s sexual violence resource center—and the Rutherford Police Department, to enhance victim safety, provide services for survivors, and support efforts to hold offenders accountable.
“In keeping with our Franciscan values of respect for human dignity, compassion, transformation, solidarity with the poor and justice and peace, we must do all we can to prevent and respond to the egregious act of sexual assault against any person and particularly violence against women,” said Dr. Anne Prisco.
Among other activities, the new OVW funded program will convene a coordinated community response (CCR) team, and develop mandatory education and prevention training for all incoming students, faculty and staff. Additionally, response training for sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking will be provided to the University’s campus security personnel to increase knowledge and competencies.
The mission of the Office on Violence Against Women, a component of the U.S. Department of Justice, is to provide federal leadership in developing the national capacity to reduce violence against women and administer justice for and strengthen services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
Felician University Unveils Renovated Veterans Center
Renovations Funded through Support from Student Veterans of America and
The Home Depot Foundation
Walking onto a college campus after serving in the nation’s military can be a challenging transition for student veterans. To help ease the return to civilian life, The Home Depot Foundation and Student Veterans of America (SVA) awarded the SVA chapter at Felician University $10,000 to make considerable improvements to its veterans center on the University’s Lodi campus. Felician currently has 43 undergraduate and 19 graduate veterans enrolled in its academic programs.
The recently held ribbon cutting of the newly renovated space revealed a transformation from a room with a table and some mismatched chairs to a home away from home for military veteran students. The new space features an ADA-compliant bathroom and kitchen with a refrigerator and microwave, a relaxation area with a 65-inch television, comfortable seating, a gaming area with an Xbox, a study area to plug in laptops and a conference table to hold meetings.
“On behalf of our veteran students, faculty and staff, we are so grateful to the SVA and its corporate sponsor, Home Depot, for enabling a major renovation of the University’s veterans center,” said Felician president, Dr. Anne Prisco. “In keeping with our Franciscan mission and values, the Veterans Club ensures an easier transition to civilian life by providing an environment where students closely interact with their peers and have an opportunity to share experiences with one another.”
For the sixth consecutive year, Felician University has been named by G.I. Jobs magazine as a Top Military Friendly School for its commitment to providing a supportive environment for armed forces veterans and their families. Felician’s inclusion on the list ranks it in the top 15 percent of all colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide. As a military friendly institution, Felician offers dedicated financial benefits to veterans and their families and has created distinctively tailored programs to help them achieve their academic goals.
The Veterans Club at Felician offers veteran students an opportunity to learn about the various support services and resources available at the University. For many veterans, the organization provides opportunities for members to socialize, study, and connect with students of similar background.
In addition, the Veterans Club is working with Project Rebirth, a resilience resource for all who serve community and country, and its Project Cohort, which is a proven method for treating PTSD through adventure therapy. Throughout the year, the Veterans Club also participates in 5K runs/walks, community events, veteran specific internships, veteran job fairs, VA workshops, on campus veteran events and a special Veterans Day ceremony.
In 2016, the Veterans Club at Felician had the honor of being invited to march in the New York City Veterans Day Parade and more recently the local American Legion Memorial Day Parade. The Club also participates with Midnight Run, an organization that serves the New York City homeless, by organizing clothing and simple needs collection that they deliver to specific areas where homeless veterans live.
Student Veterans of America and The Home Depot Foundation teamed up in 2014 to launch the Vet Center Initiative, offering SVA chapters a chance to compete for up to $10,000 in grant money to build or renovate a veteran center. By 2015, 61 campuses earned $500,000 to build or rehabilitate veteran centers that benefit more than 30,000 student veterans. This year, 50 campus communities were awarded grants of up to $10,000.
About Student Veterans of America
SVA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit coalition of more than 1,300 student veteran chapters, representing over 540,000 veterans in higher education, across the country. SVA’s mission is to provide military veterans with the resources, support, and advocacy to ease veteran and active military students’ transition into higher education and leverage military experience to launch successful careers in high-demand fields after graduation. For more information, visit www.studentveterans.org and follow on Twitter @studentvets.
Campus Ministry at Felician University Continues to Serve the Poor
The Campus Ministry department of Felician University, in conjunction with the non-profit organization Midnight Run, once again sponsored a trip into New York City to minister to the homeless. Honoring the Felician values of solidarity with the poor and respecting the human dignity of each person, Felician students collected and sorted clothing such as sweatshirts, socks, wool hats, shirts and jackets to distribute to the homeless as well as toiletries for their basic personal needs.
Immediately before the Run, students prepared sandwiches, drinks and snacks. Students loaded the Felician van with the supplies and after dark traveled with members of the Felician community to New York City to distribute food, toiletries and clothing to the poorest on the streets. Perhaps most importantly, the homeless were given a smile and a kind word. On this particular night seventy five meals were provided to the most needy at five different locations, serving more than 75 homeless people on the street.
“This was a beautiful experience for all who participated,” said Sister Teresa Soltys, Felician campus minister. “Helping God’s people in their time of need is a living example of our Felician Franciscan values,” she added.
This was the second Midnight Run of the fall semester at Felician, with two more scheduled for the spring semester. Campus Ministry has also been providing meals to the homeless at Penn Station in Newark, NJ. Other social justice initiatives sponsored by Campus Ministry include Eva’s Village in Paterson, St. John’s soup kitchen in Newark as well as providing toys and clothing for the Zion Baptist Church in Newark.
Categories: Independent Public Mission Schools