The Daily Northwestern

“It’s On Us” celebrates first anniversary, ramps up for next year

Various Northwestern student groups created a video last year to promote “It’s On Us,” a national campus sexual assault awareness campaign. The campaign aims to include a more diverse community in its discussions this year.

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Various Northwestern student groups created a video last year to promote “It’s On Us,” a national campus sexual assault awareness campaign. The campaign aims to include a more diverse community in its discussions this year.

Jee Young Lee, Reporter

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A year after its introduction at Northwestern, “It’s On Us,” a national campaign established to end campus sexual assault, plans to engage more community members and protect the LGBT community by holding more discussions across campus.

NU joined the campaign last September when it was introduced through Associated Student Government. After the launch, student groups like NU Athletics, Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault and Sexual Health and Assault Peer Educators spread the message throughout campus with surveys and visuals.

The campaign has had a growing presence and impact on NU after its introduction last year, especially when members of NU Athletics and ASG filmed their own videos spreading the message of the campaign, said SESP junior Sydney Selix, president of NU College Feminists. Due to a mandate from the White House as part of the campaign, NU surveyed the students about campus climate and sexual assault. The results of the survey have not yet been released.

“I’m really proud of the fact that Northwestern has really incorporated ‘It’s On Us’ into everyday,” Selix said.

The “It’s On Us” campaign is different from previous approaches of sexual assault prevention because it spreads the message that everyone, not only women, has the responsibility of preventing sexual assault. Past advertisements have focused on the precautions women need to take to avoid assault, Selix said.

College Feminists supported the campaign since its introduction at NU by incorporating the organization’s values into the campaign, Selix said. She said College Feminists wanted to ensure the campaign supported the organization’s ideals, which include allowing sexual assault victims to report directly to the police without having to report first to the University and follow its protocols.

The campaign must take on a new level by addressing how identity affects students’ experiences, focusing on members of the LGBT community, said Medill senior Haley Hinkle, one of the campaign leaders at NU. Transgender people have reported the highest rate of sexual assault in the Association of American Universities’ Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct, according to a Chicago Tribune article.

“This issue is relevant as long as people are still having these experiences, which unfortunately they are,” Hinkle said. “Until we can assure that everyone is safe, we should always keep working to raise awareness.”

Since new students join NU every year, the discussion needs to continue to reinforce the values of the University, Hinkle said. The campaign aims to engage a more diverse group of students, such as students of color and students from various economic backgrounds, she said.

Next week, the Title IX department will make announcements of accomplishments related to the law as well as initiatives for this year, Title IX coordinator Joan Slavin said in an email to The Daily. A new NU website for sexual misconduct response and prevention went live recently, providing students confidential support and advice on helping their peers, she said.

Email: jeelee2018@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @jennajeeyoung

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