‘It’s on us’ returns to campus

UNA Title IX, the Student Alliance For Equity and Student Government Association will host the It’s On Us event Oct. 11 at the Memorial Amphitheater from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“Ultimately, we hope that the mission of ‘It’s On Us’ is effectively communicated to the UNA community,” said Madeleine Frankford, Title IX graduate assistant who helped organize the event.

This will be the fourth year in a row that the It’s On Us campaign has taken place on UNA’s campus.

“It’s On Us is a cultural movement aimed at fundamentally shifting the way we think and talk about sexual assault,” according to the official website.

Title IX and It’s On Us addresses many of the same issues like sexual assault, bystander intervention, campus education and community empowerment, Frankford said.

“(Title IX) strives to have an It’s On Us event each year because we want the conversation about bystander intervention to be ongoing,” Frankford said.

Sophomore Presley Price said she is happy Title IX continued to host the event this year.

“With the recent lawsuit against the university on people’s minds, it’s great that the whole campus has the opportunity to come together and speak out against sexual assault,” she said.

Those who attend the event will have the opportunity to take the It’s On Us pledge.

The It’s On Us pledge is a “personal commitment to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault. It is a promise not to be a bystander to the problem, but to be a part of the solution,according to the website.

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

“We want UNA faculty, staff and students to understand that we each have the ability to be a part of the solution,” Frankford said.

The event is free and all students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend, Frankford said.

“Individuals will speak on the importance of taking the It’s On Us pledge, and attendees will have the opportunity to sign their name on the It’s On Us UNA chalkboard,” Frankford said.

There will also be laptops available for those who want to take the national pledge, she said.

“There has been a great turnout at the last two semesters’ events,” Frankford said. “(Title IX is) thankful to see student involvement grow each year.”

Frankford said she expects several hundred members of the UNA community to attend.

Senior Molly Ratliff said she plans to attend.

“It’s important that we all take responsibility for what happens on our campus,” Ratliff said. “I think everyone should take the pledge.”

There will be informational flyers, free tshirts and buttons for students who take the pledge.

“The campaign seeks to reframe the conversation surrounding sexual assault in a way that empowers, educates, and engages college students to do something, big or small, to prevent it,” according to the website.

Senior Hunter Carter said he supports the campaign’s ideals.

“It makes me sad that we even have to encourage people to report sexual assaults, but I’m glad we’re having this event to prevent bystanders,” he said.

For more information, visit the UNA Title IX or SGA Facebook or Twitter pages.