Click HERE to view Michigan athletes supporting the campaign!
Michigan It’s On Us We are the Leaders and the Best for a reason. The University of Michigan is one of 200 colleges nationwide that is participating in the It’s On Us campaign, which aims at engaging students and communities in helping prevent sexual assault on college campuses.
The Big Ten was the first conference to sign up to participate in the campaign. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee was called by the president of the university’s Central Student Government to participate as leaders in this campaign at Michigan. SAAC, as well as the University Chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the LSA student government and the Education Theatre Company have come together to join the 800 leaders of other nationwide universities to take action with this campaign.
The It’s On Us campaign was created after “Not Alone” – the White House task force to protect students from sexual assault – was signed on January 22, 2014 by President Barak Obama. In the report, Obama states:
“Sexual violence is more than just a crime against individuals. It threatens our families, it threatens our communities; ultimately, it threatens the entire country. It tears apart the fabric of our communities. And that’s why we’re here today — because we have the power to do something about it as a government, as a nation.”
It’s On Us officially launched on Friday, September 19th at 11:00 a.m. at the White House. The White House advisor on Violence Against Women, Lynn Rosenthal, hosted a panel on sexual assault and awareness during a televised announcement. It’s On Us is a cultural movement, inviting us to change the way we think about sexual assault, in order to inspire us to take action to report and prevent it.
SAAC invites all student-athletes to be recognized as leaders and best by taking the pledge. The pledge includes four important components:
“1. To recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault.
2. To identify situations in which sexual assault may occur.
3. To intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.
4. To create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable.”
In regards to taking the pledge and supporting the campaign, SAAC president, Cooper Charlton said:
“The It’s On Us campaign provides our student athletes, and all those at the University of Michigan, with a platform to band together in order to change the culture around sexual assault. On our campus, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and the Central Student Government have invested immense energy in gathering as many pledges as we can. We believe the pledge creates a sense of responsibility and holds our students and student-athletes to a certain standard. Our objective is to take a leadership role in this national campaign – the University of Michigan is committed to changing the culture around sexual misconduct. “
The It’s On Us campaign, specifically on the University of Michigan’s campus, has also paired with I Will, a student-run initiative that aims to form a collective voice that will create a sense of responsibility around sexual misconduct.
In addition to I Will, Arthur Miller Theater, on North Campus, is putting on a play called “Good Kids” which is a centerpiece to the Expect Respect: Flip the Script campaign, also currently going on at UM. The debut of this play is coincidentally at the end of the week of the It’s On Us campaign, adding to the campus wide sexual assault prevention efforts. The performance is directed by Gillian Eaton and highlights the public aftermath of sexual assault on students of a high school. The play will be performed on October 2-5 and October 9-12.
You may have noticed throughout the week that the social media outlets for SAAC (@mgosaac) has created awareness of the campaign by posting pictures of the It’s On Us logo accompanied by an athlete in the background. As student-athletes at the University of Michigan, we are held to a higher standard. We are constantly scrutinized by the rest of the student body, and we have a responsibility to uphold our core values in a positive manner. By taking the pledge, you are becoming a role model for other students, hopefully leading them to take the pledge too. We are the leaders and best.