‘It’s On:’ Students to take a stand against sexual assault

Roberto Hodge, Multicultural Editor

Sexual assault on college campuses and how to fight against the issue will be the topic of a discussion along with a documentary at 6 p.m., Tuesday Feb. 24 in the Charleston-Mattoon Room in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Officially called “It’s On Us: Take a Stand Against Sexual Assault,” the discussion, hosted by Student Government, is also part of President Barack Obama’s “It’s On Us” campaign, which is a national organization asking both men and women to take the pledge ending sexual assault on college campuses.

Reggie Thedford, the student body president, said students will have a chance to see a documentary “It Happened Here,” which will feature five women who were sexually assaulted on their campuses and how their schools handled the situation.

Following the documentary, there will be a discussion on the topic with three students and two faculty and staff members.

Questions regarding the film as well as campus resources and Title IX will be discussed.

Title IX is an education amendment that protects against gender-based discrimination in education programs and activities.

Eastern has resources on campus aiding those who have been sexually assaulted, such as Sexual Assault Interpersonal Violence Resources and Prevention, which has various links located on Eastern’s website.

Thedford said sexual assault is an issue that is prevalent on college campuses nationally, so the campaign is a great way to get Eastern on board with awareness helping to make sure the university continues to be a safe environment preventing future cases.

“You want your (education) environment to be safe and comfortable,” Thedford said. “We want it to be a student-lead campaign.”

The goals of the discussion is to continue to promote a safe and environment on campus as well as educate those on sexual assault and its policies and resources on campus.

Thedford said change begins fundamentally with how people look at the issue of sexual assault.

According to dosomething.org, it is estimated that only 5 percent of sexual assaults on college campuses are reported, making sexual assault the most underreported crime.

Thedford said everyone in the Eastern community should take action for preventing sexual assault.

“We’re not blaming the victim, we’re all taking responsibility,” Thedford said.

Roberto Hodge can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].