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Princeton University Gives $50,000 Scholarships to Students Who Face Sexual Assault on Campus

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Students from three of the university’s ten campuses will be among the recipients of new payments of up to $50,000 to address sexual assault on campus. The payments will be underwritten by individuals with experience and deep knowledge of sexual assault—from officials to counselors to jurists.

In another part of the announcement Friday, the university was criticized for offering payments to five doctoral students, all men, a departure from a policy that has maintained that no undergraduates would be given financial assistance to address sexual violence.

The human-rights and sociology professors will receive the payments, plus university counseling.

Princeton had funded the five graduate students, who also plan to participate in ongoing sexual-assault consultations and training, to the tune of $1.36 million between 2016 and 2019.

The size of the payments will not be determined until this summer. The payments were announced during a news conference at the University’s Tillinghast Athletic Center, just across the street from the Ivy League school’s traditional campus on Princeton University’s East Campus.

“Our perspective is that we have the range of expertise and leadership on campus to do this in a very meaningful way,” Judith A. Rubin, vice president for mission and public affairs, said of those receiving the payments. She pointed to Mary Kossman, a professor of psychology and chair of Princeton’s Department of Health Behavior, whose research on sexual assault brought national attention to the issue.

“The measure is designed to demonstrate deep respect for the experience and expertise in addressing sexual assault that exists in the community of faculty, students and staff,” Ms. Rubin said.

Asked about the payments to the graduate students, she said: “It is a matter of reflection of how we are going to deal with the issues that go beyond the lens of an undergraduate student.”

An estimate of the number of students on campus receiving financial aid to address sexual violence is “very uncertain,” she said. “It does not really turn on the number of students who request aid.”

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