‘It’s On Us’ event encourages students to end sexual assault

The It’s On Us campaign pledge event Oct. 11 brought students together against sexual assault for the fourth year in a row.

“We’re taking the pledge to change cultural norms, the pledge to stand up for what’s right, the pledge to protect and respect our fellow UNA friends, classmates and colleagues, the pledge to end sexual assault and the pledge to support survivors,” said Madeleine Frankford, Title IX graduate assistant and event organizer.

The responsibility to end sexual assault falls on each individual person at UNA, she said to the crowd.

Frankford said there were a large number of students who attended the event.

“(Organizers have) seen a steady flow of students all day,” she said. “ It’s really encouraging.”

Freshman Deonte Dothard said It’s On Us reminds students that sexual assault is real.

“It’s good to see that students are willing to come out to an event like this to take the pledge and stand up against sexual assault,” he said.

The Student Alliance For Equity and the Student Government Association collaborated with Title IX to host the event.

SAFE was present in support of National Coming Out Day.

“It’s a wonderful event in conjunction with Title IX and SGA because there’s so much rampant sexual assault that doesn’t get reported in the LGBT+ community,” said Miranda Murray, president of SAFE.

Murray also helped organize the March for Jane Doe at the beginning of the semester.

“Not only do we have to hold our student body accountable but we also have to hold the administration accountable when it comes to sexual assault,” she said.

Sophomore Mazie Snider said she was happy to see SAFE at the event as well as Title IX.

“I think this event is awesome,” she said. “I definitely think we need more support for the LGBT community.”

SGA President Hugo Dante also spoke at the event.

“We pledge to make UNA a safer place, we pledge to protect our fellow lions and we pledge to promote a more responsible community,” he said.

Event attendees said the pledge aloud, led by sophomore SGA member Karina Meza.

The pledge says students will recognize and identify sexual assault, intervene in sexual assault situations and create “an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported,” according to the It’s On Us website.

For those who could not attend the event but still wish to take the pledge can visit itsonus.org to do so.