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Vandal Athletics and Women’s Center Join Department of Justice Anti-Violence Program

May 02, 2017

The University of Idaho Women’s Center and Vandal Athletics are coming together to join a yearlong initiative to engage male student-athletes, coaches and administrators as leaders in the fight against sexual assault and violence on college campuses.

The program is funded through a three-year U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) grant the Women’s Center received in fall 2016. UI joins 13 other campuses that are participants in the Healthy Masculinity Campus Athletics Project (HMCAP), funded through the DOJ’s Office on Violence against Women Campus Technical Assistance and Resource Project. The project is facilitated by Men Can Stop Rape, in partnership with the Positive Coaching Alliance.

“The UI Women’s Center is deeply committed to helping create a safe, inclusive and culturally responsive environment for all of our students, and we are thrilled to partner with athletics on this project,” said Lysa Salsbury, director of the Women’s Center and principal investigator for the DOJ grant. “Expanding existing violence prevention education, outreach and advocacy to reach historically underserved student populations is fundamental to our mission. We’re very excited to be engaging student-athletes in our efforts, and look forward to an effective and productive partnership."

Sports have long played a historical role in advancing social justice and cultural change — from racial integration to the Special Olympics to the advancement of female athletes.

“Athletics is excited to partner with this very important program. We are committed to doing our part to reduce sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking at the University of Idaho,” said Rob Spear, director of UI Athletics. 

College coaches, student-athletes, athletic administrators and athletic staff are uniquely positioned to play a key role in creating a safer campus climate, according to the article “Addressing Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence: Athletics’ Role in Support of Healthy and Safe Campuses,” published by the National Collegiate Athletics Association.

As part of the initiative, UI representatives from across campus will attend an intensive three-day training this summer emphasizing athletics’ leadership on social justice issues, and how male student-athletes, coaches and athletic administrators can model the prosocial norms of healthy masculinity to foster healthier and safer campuses. UI will begin implementing the Healthy Masculinity curriculum this fall, as well as develop an action plan that addresses both prevention and response strategies. Throughout the length of the project, the university will receive technical assistance and support in developing these strategies. 

The 13 other colleges participating in the program include: Wheaton College, St. John’s University, Utah State University, Juniata College, Upper Iowa University, University of Toledo, Loyola University, College of Mt. Saint Vincent, Goucher College, Doane University, Georgian Court University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and The College of New Jersey.

Media Contact:
Lysa Salsbury
Director, UI Women’s Center

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The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more at