Following student feedback, Penn Violence Prevention is returning to Locust Walk, administrators said.
PVP, a program under the Division of the Vice Provost for University Life, moved from Locust Walk to 3535 Market St. in fall 2019 due to limited campus space. Students involved in PVP groups said the relocation hindered their advocacy work and pushed for PVP to return to Locust Walk. By moving PVP back to the heart of campus, VPUL aims to increase accessibility to resources provided by the program surrounding violence and sexual assault, according to a press release sent to The Daily Pennsylvanian.
The new location at VPUL's main office at 3609-3611 Locust Walk will house PVP Director Malik Washington’s office and student meeting space for groups associated with PVP such as Penn Anti-Violence Educators, Abuse and Sexual Assault Prevention, and Men Against Rape & Sexual Assault.
From November 2016 to May 2019, PVP was located on the second floor of 3539 Locust Walk, a former fraternity house.
Following PVP’s move to Market Street, students involved with PVP said they were "deeply upset" by the decision, claiming the move demonstrated Penn's unwillingness to treat sexual violence as a serious issue on campus.
The 2019 nationwide college sexual assault survey found that 25.9% of undergraduate women reported having unwanted sexual contact since entering college, while the rate was 7.3% for undergraduate men. Among surveyed students who are transgender, genderqueer, and nonbinary, 21.5% reported unwanted sexual contact.
VPUL said in the press release they want to ensure “that the important education and training to prevent sexual violence, relationship violence, stalking, and sexual harassment takes place close to where students, live, study, and gather.”
At the Market Street location, PVP shared a floor with Alcohol & Other Drug Program Initiatives as well as Campus Health. The office included offices for PVP staff, meeting rooms, confidential rooms, and 24-hour student spaces.
PVP is still searching for a new associate director, as well as an associate director for graduate and professional students to complete PVP’s four person staff. Once hired, the new staff members will join Washington and the four-person PVP team on Locust Walk.