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Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Sexual assault grant to fund campus ‘Reset Rooms’

Photo by Michelangelo Pellis
Inside one of the Reset Rooms on the fifth floor of West Penn.

Funded by the It’s On Us PA grant, starting on September 27, Reset Rooms, quiet spots on campus away from the busy Downtown streets, will be available for students to go when they need a moment of peace. 

In 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded Point Park University a $300,000 grant for use over a 3 year period, to help address sexual violence, stalking and dating violence on campus, according to a 2023 article from PublicSource. With this grant, Point Park funded The Office of Violence Against Women in 2022. A team to oversee and facilitate the university’s efforts to limit and prevent harassment on campus. 

Dr. Sarah Perrier is trying to combat street harassment in Downtown Pittsburgh with these spaces. She is the director of the Center for Inclusive Excellence here at Point Park.

“To learn well you have to be socially, emotionally, physically and psychologically present and able,” Perrier said. “Right now, we don’t have spaces that have much more dignity than a bathroom stall, which is problematic when our campus community is 75% commuters that don’t have a safe space on campus.”

The Office of Violence Against Women, “assures resources for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking are being provided to students,” Maria Lewis, the program’s director, said on the office’s website.

“As a Downtown campus, we have a lot of street harassment that occurs,” Perrier said. “One story from a student really brought home for me the intensity of some of that harassment and how troubling and traumatizing it can be.” 


It’s not only street harassment. Harassment can also happen when a student receives a text on their phone or views a triggering subject in class. Facing sensory issues while on campus can also be stressful. This is why Perrier said she believes it’s important to have these spaces available for students to use and view as a sanctuary.  

“The [University Counseling Center (UCC)] is excited that students will have a new space on campus to pause and recalibrate when they need it,” Cassie Moffat, director of the UCC, said in a statement on behalf of the center. “We are thankful for the work the Center for Inclusive Excellence has done in creation of the room with funding from the It’s On Us PA grant, and we encourage students to stop by the new Reset Rooms on the 27 to check out all they have to offer.”

The Center for Inclusive Excellence’s Reset Rooms are the most recent initiative on campus being taken to provide students with resources. Christl Caspar, coordinator of the Center for Inclusive Excellence, worked very closely with Perrier on the creation of the Reset Rooms.  

“The Reset Rooms are spaces where people can go to just have some quiet and to ground themselves,” Caspar said. “The West Penn space is a wellness-minded space with meditation cards, yoga mats and fidget toys.”

In the West Penn Reset Room there is a lot of space to spread out and remain private even when multiple students are using the room.

“The library space, located in UC LL 16B, is a much smaller and more tactile space,” Cas[ar said. “There are a lot of different textures that can be calming to some like a stone wall and a faux fur bean bag. It’s a much cooler, darker, private space. It’s intended to be used by one person.” 

The Reset Rooms are meant to be sanctuaries for students and Perrier and Caspar hope that students will treat the space, and one another, with respect while in the rooms.  

The grand opening of the reset rooms will be on September 27th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in West Penn 122. There will be food, DIY “sensory grounding kits,” fidget toys and more.  


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