Students campaign against sexual assualt

Former President Barack Obama launched the campaign in 2014 to raise sexual assault awareness.

by SGA Beat Writer Jessica Livingston

Students will gather together to pledge to recognize, identify and intervene in sexual assault situations and strive to create a campus free of sexual harassment April 6 at the Memorial Amphitheater.

Student Government Association will partner with Title IX for the “It’s On Us” campaign. The event is from 2 – 4 p.m.

Former President Barack Obama launched the “It’s On Us” campaign in 2014.

“It’s On Us” asks everyone “to make a personal commitment to step off the sidelines and be part of the solution to campus sexual assault,” according to obamawhitehouse.archives.gov.

Grace Williams, SGA University Council delegate, said since the campaign is in spring, students will receive “swag” items such as beach towels, and there will be food and music.

Attendants will pledge “to recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault, to identify situations where sexual assault may occur, to intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given, to create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported,” according to the “It’s on Us” website.

University Program Council Service Chair Rebecca Bush said there will be a chalkboard students can sign in addition to an electronic signature.

SGA will display the chalkboard in the Guillot University Center near the Student Engagement Office as a reminder that it is up to society to pay attention to and look out for sexual harassment, Bush said.

Senior Alisha Ricketts said everyone should be prepared to stand up for victims of sexual harassment.

“I’ve always stood up to bullies, and that’s the way I see sexual harassment — as bullying,” Ricketts said. “I think it’s good to bring attention to these occurrences, and I hope that at the event they give points on how to go about intervening in these problems on campus.”

Executive Director of “It’s On Us” campaign Anne Johnson encourages students who take the pledge to share by tweeting “Everyone has a role to play in stopping sexual assault. I took the pledge at itsonus.org. Join me! #ItsOnUs”

Senior Kenson St. Remy said he believes students will benefit from participating in the campaign.

“It really brings awareness to women and men,” Remy said. “It gives them a voice of inclusion and courage for them to be heard.”

Students who cannot make the event can take the pledge online at itsonus.org/#pledge_open.