by Robbie Sequeira
edited by Rachel Shunamon
Franklin Pierce University invited students and faculty this past week to take the pledge and join the “It’s On Us” initiative to prevent sexual assaults on campus.
It’s On Us is an education based campaign focusing on sexual assault awareness and prevention on college campuses. It was launched by President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in 2014.
“I think it’s a great initiative for FPU students to get involved with and emphasize that this type of behavior will not be tolerated,” said Experience Director Fred Carter.
Students, faculty, and staff from Franklin Pierce were given a pledge to recite on camera, and then those clips are made into a PSA detailing how participants will do their best to ensure safety on campus.
“It shouldn’t have to be said to keep your hands to yourself, but I think a program like this will benefit the school in so many ways,” said Carter. “Because students are now pledging to intervene against other peers.”
The pledge encourages participants to recognize, identify, intervene and create situations that better help maintain safety in the school, a process the organization calls bystander intervention.
“It’s so important for student to see their peers vowing to take a stand to limit unlawful and inappropriate behaviors,” said Kelcea Barnes, a Chief of Staff for Its On Us at the University of Missouri in a telephone interview.
The school’s integration into the program is timely, after an email was sent to students regarding sexual misconduct occurring on campus.
The incident was recapped in the school wide email:
“In both cases, the assailants were guests visiting students at the University, and did know their victims. In both cases, these individuals were required to leave the University and are not permitted back on the campus.”
For some students, a stronger stance against sexual misconduct and assault is needed.
“It’s pretty frightening stuff to hear, you don’t even imaging something like this happening on our campus,” said junior Antonella Corleto.
The It’s On Us initiative is currently installed in 2205 colleges nationwide.
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