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It’s On Us campaign spreads message about sexual assault

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It’s On Us merchandise sits on the tables of this week’s meeting.

It’s On Us, a federal campaign that came to Bowling Green in 2014, had its kick off event Thursday in the Student Union.

Thursday evening, the coordinators of It’s On Us held an event which included buttons, bracelets, pens and free t-shirts, all of which attempted to spread one singular message: It’s on us to stop sexual assault.

Over the last year, the campaign has slowly grown in popularity and awareness across campus. Throughout the 2014-2015 academic year, a contest was held to see who could create a video that could best relay the message of It’s On Us. The goal of these videos was to spread information on the topics of recognizing sexual assault, identifying situations in which it may happen, innerving in situations where consent has not or cannot be given and creating an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported. Thursday night’s event showcased the winning video, after showing three other videos about the campaign.

The first video included student, faculity, coaches and President Mary Ellen Mazey. Next on the screen were members of the Men’s and Women’s basketball teams supporting the cause. Following those, a student-made video was shown about helping someone when they cannot give consent to what is going to happen. Finally, the winning video was shown and took a unique approach, as it showed students having conversations about the issue of sexual assault with someone they had never met.

“1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted. I myself am a victim of sexual assault, and that is why I am very gung ho about this issue.” said Mary Toth, senior committee member.

Aside from the videos, organizations such as athletic teams, fraternities and sororities have been involved in making this campaign thrive.

The work put in over the last year resulted in Bowling Green State University’s It’s On Us campaign to become the model for campaigns around the state through the Ohio Sexual Violence Organization. This coming year, the organization hopes to reach more individuals and educate them through workshops and events. Events are in the works for residence halls across campus, as well as for the Resident Advisors and for students that take part in fraternities and sororities.

Faith Yingling, Director of Wellness Affairs summed it up by saying, “We care about issues like this at Bowling Green. Anyone can be sexually assaulted and anyone can sexually assault. It was great to see both females and males here at the meeting tonight, because this organization and issue involves everyone.”

Students and faculty attended the meeting on Thursday evening from all across campus, including sports teams, the athletic department, residence halls and the communication department. When asked what she thought of the program, freshman Jackalyn Siebenaler said, “I feel like It’s On Us is a good cause that addresses issues that are not talked about a lot. That needs to change.”

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