It’s On Us and Spiders Against Sexual Assault and Violence (SASAV) teamed up along with Britnie Hopkins, sexual misconduct and prevention education coordinator, to coordinate a “Fall Week of Action” in support of the campaign to end sexual assault on campus.
Beginning on Monday, Oct. 23, the week consisted of opportunities for students and faculty to pledge their support for the campaign. The week was conveniently planned during Healthy Relationships Month, which lasts for all of October.
With a photo campaign where students could use a snapchat filter, which was made to look like a polaroid, to pledge their support, as well as a chalking of the forum, the week of events provided students with different ways to get involved and show their support for everyone affected by sexual violence.
Caroline McNamara, senior, who is involved in the It's On Us campaign, talked about the week's primary goal, and suggesting that the student organizations joined forces with hopes of spreading awareness on campus about the issue.
“We are just trying to get more people into the issue in preparation for next semester where we have events like 'Take Back the Night,'” McNamara said. “We are trying to get more of a presence on campus.”
McNamara talked about the importance of increasing the campus involvement, and how different student organizations are coming together to provide support outlets for those in need.
“There was a campaign launched by the Greek leadership council on Tuesday which was impressive," McNamara said. “It’s important for all of those affected to see that many groups around campus are providing them with support.”
Signs and markers provided in various buildings that get the most foot traffic allowed for people to be as public or private as they wanted with their action.
Taylor Githens, first-year, liked the simplicity of the campaign.
“It was the perfect reminder that support systems are everywhere on campus,” she said. “But it was simple enough that it wasn’t in your face and forcing you to be involved.”
With Halloween approaching, Helen Li, first-year, part of the It's On Us campaign, talked about the importance of consent and what it means to her.
“I think, for me, the most critical part about the timing is the fact that Halloween is coming," Li said. “It is important for people to remember costumes don’t exactly mean consent and Halloween isn’t an exception to that idea.”
Li also shared that she believed the week had come at a good time for first-years, as they had learned a lot about the issue of sexual assault and violence during their orientation period.
“You learn so much during that week but it is easy to forget about the issue once school starts,” she said. “I think it is important for people to be checking back in with what they learned over orientation.”
Githens agreed with Li.
“You go to so many different presentations about how to prevent sexual assault and then orientation ends and classes start," Githens said.
There are a variety of ways to get involved in the fight to end sexual assault and violence on campus. Spiders for Spiders, It’s on Us and SASAV are open to new members who are looking to become involved in making our campus a safer place. Students can also pledge their support online.
Contact news contributor and copy editor Caroline Queally at firstname.lastname@example.org.