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Governor McDonnell Announces Campus Safety and Violence Prevention PSA Challenge
Monday, January 31, 2011

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of Governor Bob McDonnell

January 31, 2011
Contact: Jeff Caldwell
Phone: (804) 225-4260
E-mail: [email protected]
<mailto:[email protected]>


Governor McDonnell Announces Campus Safety and Violence Prevention PSA Challenge
Public Will Select Winners Through Online Voting
Winning PSA Will Air on Television Statewide

RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell launched today the “College Campus Safety and Violence Prevention Public Service Announcement Challenge” during an afternoon press conference at Virginia Commonwealth University.  The Governor is challenging college students all across the Commonwealth to utilize their artistic talents and collaborate with their peers to create their own PSA addressing these major issues affecting our college communities.  The PSA challenge is open to students enrolled at any Virginia public, private, four-year or two-year college or university. The winning video will air on television statewide.
            Speaking about the PSA challenge, Governor McDonnell remarked, “As parents of three children attending Virginia public universities, Maureen and I understand firsthand the importance of ensuring our students are learning in a safe environment. That’s why we are launching the ‘College Campus Safety and Violence Prevention PSA Challenge’ to encourage students to collaborate with each other and use their talents and personal insights to get out important messages about campus safety. The more we do to engage our students, start conversations, and educate the public about these difficult issues, the easier it is to address them head-on.  We hope this contest will provide students the opportunity to weigh in on issues they are facing, leave a lasting impact on Virginia’s college and university campuses, and truly institute real positive change within these campus communities.”
            First Lady Maureen McDonnell added, “Virginia is a great place to attend college.  However, there is much more we can do to ensure students are learning in a safe environment.  This contest is an excellent way to engage our college students by challenging them to use their skills to create videos about the tough issues affecting their campuses.  I hope this contest will begin to start a conversation among our students about how to effectively ensure a safe learning environment is found at every campus in the Commonwealth.”
            This contest is similar to “Project SafetyNetVA,” a youth Internet safety contest Governor McDonnell launched when he was attorney general.  This initiative challenged students in grades 6-12 to create television ads about Internet safety.  For more information about “Project SafetyNet VA,” please visit: http://www.oag.state.va.us/PRESS_RELEASES/NewsArchive/090407_SafetyNet.html
<http://www.oag.state.va.us/PRESS_RELEASES/NewsArchive/090407_SafetyNet.html> .
            All video entries for the College Campus Safety and Violence Prevention Public Service Announcement Challenge must be postmarked or submitted online by April 30, 2011.  Videos must be 30 seconds or less in length.  Students may form teams of up to six people to work on the videos, and there is no limit to the number of people who participate in the video.  The public will select the winners through online voting.  The Governor’s Office of Substance Abuse Prevention will narrow entries to a select group which will be posted online for voting. For more information about the College Campus Safety and Violence Prevention Public Service Announcement Challenge, please visit: www.gosap.virginia.gov <http://www.gosap.virginia.gov> .
Earlier this month, Governor and Mrs. McDonnell sent the following letter to all Virginia college presidents announcing the challenge.
Dear College President,
            Every college president’s top priority is ensuring that their campus and students are provided with a safe and productive learning environment.  Campus safety is a public safety priority.  
We are excited to announce a Public Service Announcement (PSA) challenge being initiated across the Commonwealth.  The Governor’s Office of Substance Abuse Prevention is challenging all college students to collaborate with their peers and create their own PSA with a focus on campus safety and violence prevention.  It is our hope that this contest will provide students an opportunity to address major issues affecting their college community, as well as empower them to take an active role in campus safety.
            Enclosed you will find additional information regarding the contest, including rules, sign-up sheets, frequently asked questions, and tips on how to make the PSA project a success.  Additionally, we will be sending posters to your campus as a means to help advertise the contest.  We will have prizes for the top three winners; and for the first place individual or team, we will hold a press conference at the college or university campus of the winner.  Additionally, the top PSA will be aired on local television networks.  
All of this information can be found on the Governor’s Office of Substance Abuse Prevention website, www.gosap.virginia.gov
<http://www.gosap.virginia.gov> .   We also urge you to post the information on your website.  We hope you will support this important initiative, and encourage your students to participate.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Erika Fischer at (804) 786-9072.
Best regards,
Governor Robert F. McDonnell and First Lady Maureen McDonnell


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