UNA partners with “It’s On Us” campaign

by Staff Writer John Ed Dearman

UNA is taking a stand against sexual assault by joining the forces of “It’s On Us” — a nationwide campaign started by President Barack Obama to spread awareness of sexual assault on college campuses.

SGA will host a launch party in early November at the Memorial Amphitheater to kick off the “It’s On Us” campaign, said President Nick Lang.

The party will be the first of many events for “It’s On Us” at UNA.

“We will be educating students about what sexual assault is and how they can prevent it,” he said.

There will be free food, T-shirts, stickers and buttons at the launch party, Lang said.

“The whole point is to recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault and identify situations where assault might happen,” said Title IX Coordinator Tammy Jacques. “The more students that buy into it, the more other students will connect to it.”

Lang said SGA is encouraging students to take the pledge to become an advocate against sexual assault on the “It’s On Us” website before coming to the party.

“Once they’ve done that, there will be a big banner at the party they’ll be able to sign showing that they have taken the pledge,” he said.

The party will serve as both a means of educating students about sexual assault and spreading information about “It’s On Us” and Title IX, he said. Other “It’s On Us” events will continue throughout the year, he said.

“This launch party is just the start,” Lang said.

Sophomore Victoria Moore said she thinks “It’s On Us” is a good cause.

“It’s such a great idea to start this campaign at UNA,” she said. “It shows that sexual assault should not be taken lightly.”

Lang said he thinks one of SGA’s purposes is to give UNA students the best college experience possible. Part of that means educating and empowering students to stand against these issues.

“Our goal is to educate students on it so they can be active agents on spreading awareness not only to other students, but also to people out in the community.”

Junior Chris Brewer said he will attend the launch party.

“Having a launch party and doing other kinds of events on campus is such a great way to spread awareness, and it shows that as a student body, we are giving our support.”

Freshman Mckayleh Smith said she is glad SGA is doing this campaign.

“Awareness is very important, not only for us, but for the people who are actually going through it,” Smith said. “They (can) know that they are not alone.”