It’s On Us

Campaign to raise awareness about forms of abuse

The start of a new campaign on campus began April 1, spreading awareness to college students everywhere about alcohol and sexual assault awareness.

It’s On Us is a national campaign hosted by the Wellness Center to raise awareness for sexual assault and promote alcohol awareness. 

April is alcohol awareness and sexual assault awareness month, and the Wellness Center is bringing attention to these issues. 

Mariah Weber, wellness coordinator of Health and Fitness programs, said universities use similar ways to draw attention to the issues. 

“Many universities adopt the phrase, ‘It’s on us, so I will…’ to support sexual assault prevention,” Weber said. 

Conflict and prevention coordinator Virginia James said the Title IX office has been working on the campaign for months now, and this is not something they take lightly.  

The timing of sexual assault and alcohol prevention in April correlates with the final months of class. 

“Everyone’s finishing for the year,” James said. “I think there’s some significance to keep our students maintaining and moving forward.”

James also said awareness for these issues on campus and how long they’ve been working towards prevention is significant. 

“Our entities have been working on campus for years now,” James said, “but understanding that April was significant for our organizations and colleagues to come together, it was important to focus on this and say ‘let’s start something new’.” 

During the month of April, the Wellness Center will be posting blue flag window stickers with notes from the student body promoting sexual assault awareness and alcohol awareness on the glass boards at the Wellness Center as well as a few residence hall lobbies. 

Darci Nichols, assistant director to the Wellness Center Counseling Services, spoke about the impact on the student body. 

“I think the impact is visual, so hopefully everyone who sees the flags posted will be impacted,” Nichols said. 

However, Weber said sexual assault is not something they only take into consideration during the month of April—it is a year long commitment for prevention. 

The committee also plans on using social media during the month of April to raise awareness. 

“We want [people] to know what’s going on, where they can support it and where they can find the flags,” Weber said. 

Even if alcohol awareness is not affecting everyone on campus directly, it can help in terms of awareness for the severity of alcohol abuse.

“There are actually a lot of students who do not drink on campus and would rather do other things,” James said. “Even though it’s not a social norm percentage, trying to get positive messages out there through banners, t-stands and flags is our all-encompassing movement.” 

The flags will be available to fill out at the HEROH (Helping Everyone Reach Optimal Health) table in the mainstreet of the Union. 

There are different places students can drop off their flags to be posted in the designated areas. James said the drop-off points are the Wellness Center front desk, the residence hall front desks and Information Exchange. 

“This is our first time we’re going to try something new for the month of April,” Weber said. 

Weber said a large amount of planning has gone into the campaign for not only the students but for the faculty as well. 

“I think the big thing is encouraging everyone to fill one out,” Weber said.

Weber said the campaign is meant to have a large impact. 

“The campaign is for anyone who would like to get involved,” Weber said. “It’s bringing everyone together to promote an important topic.” 

Nichols also pointed out it is a way to incorporate bystander intervention. 

“I think it’s a way to provide examples,” Nichols said. “If they see examples of what they can be doing, they say ‘oh, I can do that. I can say that, I can be that person.’” 

James believes it is important, as the jackrabbit community, to intervene with sexual assault prevention and alcohol awareness.

“It’s just a good first step. If this goes well over the course of this month, there’s no reason why we can’t do it again to show that mass movement that we’re all supporting each other,” James said. 

James also said there are a number of people on staff to help with issues such as sexual assault and alcohol awareness. “If students can see that the support is out there, maybe they’ll feel more comfortable reaching out to our resources here on campus.”