MSA says 'It’s on Us'

MSA will host another event April 18 as part of “It’s On Us.” Sen. Claire McCaskill will be attending.
Dakota Downey helps another student take the "It's On Us" pledge Thursday, March 5, 2015, at the Student Center in Columbia, Mo.

The Missouri Students Association hosted an “It’s On Us” kickoff event in the MU Student Center on March 5.

This is the first event MU hosted as part of this national campaign started by President Obama to put an end to sexual assault on college campuses.

The national campaign sent guidance to every school district, college and university that receives federal funding to prevent sexual assault and created the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault that works with colleges on developing policies, according to its website.

The website also offers 12 tips to help alleviate this issue, such as being aware of surroundings, trusting your gut and intervening when necessary.

“What’s most important is that (the title) isn’t ‘It’s on Me’ or ‘It’s on You,’” Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Cathy Scroggs said during her speech addressing students and passersby. “It says ‘It’s on Us,’ and that’s inclusive. It’s up to all of us to create an environment where sexual violence is not tolerated and survivors are supported. We are working hard every day to do that.”

Last year, MSA launched the “Enough is Enough” campaign with similar aims of preventing sexual violence on MU’s campus. When the spring semester began, they decided to join the nationwide “It’s On Us” campaign, since it has potential for further reach, Scroggs said.

In MSA President Payton Head’s opening address, he stressed that this campaign is universal and relies on everyone to actively participate to make campus safer.

“Today is the beginning of a movement,” he said. “This movement does not and will not exist solely within one population of the Mizzou community. It is here for everyone. Today is our first step, but it is not our last.”

The event displayed laptops so students could take the pledge online and free buttons to wear to show their support. The MU Counseling Center and the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center were both present to educate students about on-campus resources.

“The big thing with changing campus climate, especially in regards to rape culture, is awareness,” RSVP Center graduate assistant Tim Maness said. “This is an issue that has been in the forefront this past year, and I’m glad there’s been ongoing discussion because, historically, it has been pushed into the darkness. You can’t implement change without talking about it.”

MSA will host another event April 18 as part of “It’s On Us.” This event will be a statewide summit that brings student leaders together to discuss this issue. Sen. Claire McCaskill will also be in attendance.

More events in collaboration with MSA, the RSVP Center and other organizations will be planned for the future.

“I hope we have more people understand they can help and intervene,” Scroggs said. “I think we will see a campus that cares. We have that now, but I think it will be more caring.”

The Maneater’s March 11 print issue will feature a full-length story on the “It’s On Us” campaign.

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