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It’s On Us

April 6, 2018

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As part of DIII Week, division three athletes have the opportunity to show their pride for their constant hard work, athletic ability, and commitment to an important cause. “As athletes, we are put in the public eye a lot. The more we are able to do to promote such an important campaign, the more that others will be able to learn about it,” says Elizabeth Reasoner, a sophomore goalie and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee representative for the Women’s Lacrosse team.

For DIII Week this year, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) used It’s On Us as a way to not only educate students, but also to get them involved with a worthy cause. Students have had the opportunity to sign a poster to the pledge of It’s On Us, committing to “create a culture of consent, bystander intervention and survivor support,” as described by the It’s On Us website. Jeff Knapp, a freshman student athlete explained why he decided to sign and take the pledge this week, saying, “I think that athletes can get a bad reputation when it comes to these issues, and the education of this movement can be useful in making a change”

“It’s On Us” is a campaign that was developed in partnership with the NCAA to educate students on sexual assault. The movement began in 2014, “following recommendations from the White House Task Force to Prevent Sexual Assault that noted the importance of engaging everyone in the conversation to end sexual violence.” According to the campaign’s website, the mission of “Its On Us” is to “recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault, to identify situations in which sexual assault could occur, to intervene in situations where consent has not been given, and to create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.” The campaign currently has allowed around 300,000 people to take the pledge to stand against sexual assault, and works with 95 partners and students on campuses around the nation, according to the It’s On Us website. The campaign emphasizes the importance of bystander intervention, explaining that this plays a big role in how stopping sexual violence is truly everyone’s responsibility. As described by the campaign, “Being an active bystander can mean physically intervening in a situation or calling out language that perpetuates rape culture.”

During DIII Week in 2016, the NCAA incorporated “It’s On Us” into the week’s activites by challenging institutions to create a video that illustrates what the campaign is about. Schools competed in the video competition by division, and at the end, three winners were named. While it was not part of the competition, in September 2017, Monmouth College released a video that exemplified the values of the campaign, featuring students and faculty of the college.

Members of SAAC at Monmouth College also find the initiative behind the campaign to be useful during DIII Week. Reasoner expressed that It’s On Us helps bring an even more meaningful tone to the week’s festivities, saying, “Monmouth has such a large percentage of student athletes, each involved in other ways on campus. If we all tell one other person, there’s hundreds more people who ahve learned about this topic.”

At Monmouth, students can also get involved with the campaign by attending the fourth annual “Take Back the Night” event on campus. This event will be on April 16, and students will have the opportunity to sign the It’s On Us banner, view the college’s new It’s On Us video, and take in the Clothesline Exhibit, a “display of t-shirts decorated by victims of violence.” Rally videos and music are being featured, and the evening ends with a campus walk to the square and balloon launch. This event is sponsored by the Counseling Center, Title IX Office and Mindful Monmouth.

Kaelin Sommer
News Editor

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