As part of its ongoing commitment to prevent, respond to and educate about sexual assault, partners across Michigan State University are teaming up for the It’s On Us Week of Action from March 20-24.
Events for the week aim to raise awareness around sexual violence, sex/gender discrimination and sexual harassment. MSU is hosting nationally recognized speaker Don McPherson and launching the inaugural Student Leadership Institute with the theme of Engaging and Empowering Men to Prevent Sexual Violence. Other events include a pledge drive, poster contest, movie screening and open forum.
It’s On Us was started nationally in 2014 by the White House to enable all members of campus communities to take a stand against sexual violence.
A national week of action occurs each fall, and many student groups, notably ASMSU, have taken part. Jessica Norris, MSU’s Title IX coordinator, said holding MSU-specific events during the spring semester helps reinforce key messages students received at the start of the school year.
“MSU is committed to creating and maintaining a campus community that is free from sexual violence, and this week represents a continued call to action as we build a culture that upholds our Spartan values,” Norris said. “These events will help spur dialogue and allow students to play an active role in fostering a community of caring and respect.”
The Week of Action, for which planning began in fall, supports many of the other ongoing efforts at MSU regarding relationship violence and sexual misconduct, from revamped training programs to a new bystander intervention program made possible by a state of Michigan grant.
“While our data show that we have made substantial progress in raising awareness at MSU regarding sexual violence, there is still more to be done as we work to turn awareness in to action,” Norris said.
Events for the week include:
- March 20: Kick off to the It’s On Us Poster contest; for additional information, visit MSU’s It’s On Us Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ItsOnUsMSU/.
- 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., March 20: Therapy Dogs will be at the MSU Library.
- 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., March 21: Selfie spot and giveaways at The Rock.
- 7 p.m. March 21: Movie screening and panel discussion for “Audrie and Daisy” at the Business College Complex, N100. The film is a real-life drama that examines the effects on families, friends, schools and communities when two underage young women find that sexual assault crimes against them have been caught on camera. For more information, visit: http://audrieanddaisy.com. Immediately following the screening, a panel of MSU experts will engage in an interactive discussion with the audience.
- 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., March 22: ASMSU pledge drive at The Rock. Take the pledge at itsonus.org.
- 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., March 22: Sexual Violence Advisory Committee Open Forum at the MSU Union Ballroom (second floor).
- 7 p.m., March 23: MSU will be hosting nationally recognized speaker and former NFL player Don McPherson to speak about the normalization of sexism and sexual violence in pop culture and society. The speech will be at the Erickson Kiva.
- 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., March 24: MSU offers its inaugural Student Leadership Institute: Engaging and Empowering Men to Prevent Campus Sexual Violence. The goals of the institute are to raise awareness about the role of men in sexual violence prevention efforts and introduce prevention concepts and action steps. The target audience includes 30 students, ages 18 to 24, currently enrolled at MSU, with an emphasis on engaging male campus leaders. For additional information and/or to register, visit: titleix.msu.edu.
Sponsors for the It’s On Us Week of Action include ASMSU, Center for Gender in Global Context, Council of Graduate Students, Freshman Class Council, MSU Athletics, MSU Police, MSU Safe Place, MSU Sexual Assault Program, Office of Institutional Equity, Residential and Hospitality Services, Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Prevention Program (SARV), Sexual Violence Advisory Committee, Student Affairs and Services, Student Health Services and Zeta Psi Fraternity.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/ItsOnUsMSU/.