MSA calls on administrators to sign It’s On Us pledge

GPC President Rachel Bauer: “We are serious about holding students accountable. We want the administration to take this seriously, and we want them to publicly say they signed on our campus to the campaign.”

MSA has passed a resolution that, if signed by the chancellor and the Board of Curators, will make MU one of the first universities in the nation to sign the It’s On Us pledge as a whole.

The It’s On Us campaign was launched in 2014 by President Barack Obama’s administration as a campaign against sexual assault on college campuses. Different organizations can sign onto the pledge. The Missouri Students Association first signed the pledge in March 2015, and the student governments of Joint Session, including MSA, the Interfraternity Council and the Graduate Professional Council signed on, in December 2016.

“Within MSA and IFC, we’ve been working with all four system schools so they can pass similar resolutions in their student government,” MSA Vice President Tori Schafer said. “That way we can take it to their chancellor, and to the Board of Curators to sign, so that the [UM] System can be one of the first systems in the nation to sign on as an It’s On Us system.”

The resolution, which passed through Senate on Jan. 25, calls upon administration to sign onto the campaign. It will go to interim Chancellor Hank Foley’s office next week.

“Now with change of administration, [administrators] are much more willing and open to the idea of formally having Mizzou listed as an It’s On Us campus,” Schafer said. “Through what has been told to me, Mizzou was not comfortable with singing onto the It’s On Us campaign at the time of its launch. Sam [Franks, former director of student services] and a few other students had approached administration at the time, asked if they wanted to be a part of it, asked if they could sign on, and the answer was no.”

Schafer started an It’s On Us committee to get students involved with the campaign last year after MSA President Sean Earl and Schafer were elected. The committee meets biweekly and focuses on promotional material for It’s On Us, raising awareness of sexual assault and getting students to sign the pledge. The committee is partnered with Green Dot.

“During the Week of Action this year the committee will have a pledge drive. We will also be working with IFC so the members for next year can be a part of this,” Schafer said. “The more you talk about issues like this and have those tough conversations, that’s when you see real culture change happen.”

Schafer leads MU’s chapter of It's On Us. The campaign was introduced to the MU campus by Franks under former MSA President Peyton Head’s leadership.

“Now that GPC, MSA and Joint Session have all signed onto pretty much the same resolution, we have that now to show to the administration to say we are serious about how we want sexual assault treated on this campus,” GPC President Rachel Bauer said. “We are serious about holding students accountable. We want the administration to take this seriously, and we want them to publically say they signed on our campus to the campaign.”

Edited by Emily Gallion | egallion@themaneater.com

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