'It's On Us' action week targets sexual assault awareness
Associated Students of MSU and other student groups will join campus counterparts around the country Nov. 17-21 to raise awareness of sexual assault as part of the national It’s On Us Week of Action.
A White House task force launched It’s On Us in September, aiming to enlist students — especially men — to take personal responsibility for stopping sexual assault and ending the culture of victim blame. Student leadership from nearly 200 colleges and universities, sports organizations including the NCAA and Big Ten, and other student-connected groups and companies signed on to the program.
A number of activities are planned around campus to raise awareness and point out campus prevention and response resources. Groups will offer workshops and opportunities to sign the It’s On Us pledge, and ASMSU plans to launch a Facebook page for the event.
The national campaign dovetails into MSU’s own awareness initiatives, including the No Excuse for Sexual Assault campaign launched in January 2013 by the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives.
“Eradicating sexual and domestic assault requires people to see it as their personal responsibility to intervene when they see something escalating,” MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said. “One incident is too many, and it will take all of us in the campus community working together. I’m really pleased that student leaders and groups are helping set these expectations.”
Also next week, the 2014 University Task Force on Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence is planning its first meeting. This is the 10th anniversary of the first University Task Force on Sexual Assault, which led to significant changes in MSU’s work related to campus sexual assaults and relationship violence. The task force, with faculty, staff and student representation from across campus, will review MSU’s work over the past 10 years and identify any gaps based on the recent guidance from federal agencies and the White House.
Additionally, two key MSU community partners, the city of East Lansing and DTN Management, also recently have pledged their support in working with MSU to address sexual assault and violence. The City Council passed a resolution in October in support of university efforts, and DTN is working to increase awareness of this issue within its rental properties across the city.