Increasing sexual assault awareness on campus.
For the first time, USF St. Petersburg is holding a sexual assault awareness campaign in order to better educate the campus community about the dangers students may face.
Student government teamed up with USF Tampa and USF Sarasota in a system-wide resolution to participate in the It’s On Us campaign.
Last year marked the start of the campaign at schools across the nation. The educational event has helped students learn about some precautionary steps they can take to protect themselves from the threat of sexual assault.
According to Whitehouse.gov, “studies estimate that one in five women is sexually assaulted while in college. Most often, the act occurs in her freshman or sophomore year, usually by someone she knows. And only 13 percent of rape survivors report their assault.”
In launching It’s On Us on Sept. 19, 2014, President Obama said “to the survivors who are leading the fight against sexual assault on campuses, your efforts have helped start a movement. I can only imagine how long and lonely your fight must feel. And that’s why we’re all here today – to say that it’s not on you; it’s not your fight to wage alone; it’s on us – all of us – to fight campus sexual assault.”
Senior Victor Sims, student government’s secretary of communications, knew this would be a vital topic to discuss.
“Guys can be sexually assaulted, too, but it predominantly happens to the female population,” said Sims. “They don’t know if it’s their fault (and) I don’t think anybody should live thinking that.”
SG strives to make the campus a safe place that students can call home. This requires educating students about potential threats to help them make the right decisions, whether it’s avoiding certain situations or knowing when to step in and help someone.
“People generally care about the students,” said Sims. “And I think that’s why the It’s On Us campaign is going to be a success.”
Events will tackle important subjects such as defining consent, seeking help and above all, opening the floor for a panel discussion on sensitive topics in a safe environment.
Student government encourages students to pledge online. Free T-shirts will be given out to the first 500 students who sign.
- Nov. 9 # 5:13 p.m.
To kick off the week, SG will hand out cupcakes behind the Reef next to the basketball court. 5:13 p.m. was chosen because 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted in college and 13% report it.
- Nov. 10 # 5:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
The Coquina Club will hold a panel discussion with student Rain Christi who will share her story about sexual assault. A mocktail social experiment will also take place to show students how they can help peers if a difficult situation arises.
- Nov. 12 # noon – 2 p.m.
On the last day of the campaign, students are invited to sign the pledge at the University Student Center.