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‘It’s On Us’ campaign hits UA

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Rebecca Noble / The Daily Wildca
Rebecca Noble / The Daily Wildcat

ASUA will officially kick off the It’s On Us campaign with the Day of Action event on the UA Mall on Thursday.

It’s On Us is a national campaign against sexual assault on college campuses and was introduced by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in mid-September.

Kyle Lierman, a White House author, said in a White House blog post about the campaign that it is meant to be a “rallying cry” encouraging everyone to realize that ending sexual assault on college campuses begins with them. The campaign also seeks to rebuild the conversation surrounding sexual assault and inspire everyone to see it as their duty to do something, big or small, to prevent sexual assault.

The Pac-12 Conference is taking part in the campaign, along with other colleges and over 50 partners across the nation. Partners include the Big Ten Conference, EA Sports, MTV and the National College Athletic Association.

Issac Ortega, president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, said ASUA has teamed up with the UA athletics department and student-athletes like basketball player Brandon Ashley and athletic director Greg Byrne to spread awareness about the It’s On Us campaign.

“The main message we are trying to get across is to really step up and do something and to let everyone know that it’s on us to do that,” Ortega said.

The Interfraternity Council president, Adam Geyer, said the IFC is also involved in the campaign and ready to raise awareness around campus.

Geyer said the IFC purchased It’s On Us shirts that about 700 fraternity men will wear on the Day of Action and throughout the month of November to raise awareness and spark conversation about the campaign.

“This is a national campaign and an issue across our entire country, and it’s important that students at [the] UA are getting involved,” Geyer said. “It’s happening on all campuses across the entire country; it is not specific to our greek community or our campus. We want to take part in this countrywide campaign.”

ASUA members will be talking to students about the campaign at the event on the Mall in front of the Alumni Plaza from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and Byrne will be talking to students and handing out free pizza from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Students will also be able to take the It’s On Us pledge by signing their name or taking the online pledge at the event.

According to the It’s On Us website, the pledge is “a personal commitment to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault” and “a promise not to be a bystander to the problem, but to be a part of the solution.” The Day of Action will also mark the premiere of the UA It’s On Us video; while similar to the video found on the national campaign’s website, it will have its own UA spin to it, Ortega said. The video will include student-athletes, ASUA members and different students and faculty.

The campaign will be a long-term effort to make the UA a campus where conversation about sexual assault and the prevention of it is present, Ortega said. In the spring, ASUA hopes to work with Residence Life and other campus resources on the campaign as well.

“The event is meant purely to raise awareness about ‘It’s On Us’ and creating an environment at the UA where sexual assault is 100 percent not tolerated,” Ortega said.

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Follow Adriana Espinosa on Twitter.

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