ASUU Trains Members on Ending Sexual Assaults Campus-Wide


(Photo Courtesy of ASUU)

By Spencer Eastwood

(Photo Courtesy of ASUU)
(Photo Courtesy of ASUU)


“It’s On Us” — a campaign with the goal to end sexual assault on college campuses — has started at the U.

It encourages each university to use tools in order to address sexual assault and sexual violence problems on their individual campuses. The U, in cooperation with ASUU and the “It’s On Us” campaign, will be evaluating campus policies, organizing events to educate students about sexual assault and will plan a Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention week in February.

To launch the campaign, a training known as “bystander intervention” was held last week for all ASUU-compensated employees. Mackenzie Peyton, ASUU’s Assembly Vice-Chair and an assembly representative from the College of Health, said the training “addressed any worries or concerns on intervening, and [allowed us to share] our ideas on how we can help solve this problem on our campus as student leaders.”

Peyton said the training included Katie Stiel, Marty Riccardo and Kassy Keen from the Center for Student Wellness presenting on the definitions of sexual assault, discussing sexual violence and talking about what it means to participate in bystander intervention. In addition, there were open discussions on different intervention techniques, scenarios when intervention is necessary and the best way to approach them.

The White House launched “It’s On Us” last September. Before the creation of the campaign, President Barack Obama established the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault in January, 2014.

The White House and the president ultimately want to achieve three things through the campaign — help schools identify the problem, prevent sexual assault by getting bystanders to step in and help schools respond effectively when a student is sexually assaulted.

According to the official fact sheet on sexual assault released by the White House last year, “One in five women is sexually assaulted while in college. Most often, it happens her freshman or sophomore year.” However, freshman Nathalia Padua said she believes the U is a safe place.

“I’ve never been scared of [being sexually assaulted] on campus,” Padua said. “[But] it’s always good to raise awareness [about this problem].”

Peyton said the “It’s On Us” campaign has affected her on many different levels.

“I feel that this campaign has an immense amount of influence and power to stop sexual assault, not just on our campus, but on campuses nationwide,” Peyton said. “I am proud and overjoyed that we are taking on this initiative as a university.”

From Feb. 9 to the 13, ASUU will host a Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Week.

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