UISG and other organizations say ‘It’s on Us’ to combat sexual violence

The University of Iowa Student Government in partnership with other organizations will be promoting the ‘It’s On Us’ campaigning, with more events and support than in previous years.


Katina Zentz

The panel speaks during the “It’s On Us” town hall meeting hosted by UISG at the IMU on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. UISG is remodeling its sexual assault campaign.

Alexandra Skores, News Reporter

The University of Iowa Student Government has expanded its campaign to educate students about sexual assault and support survivors.

In September 2014, the Obama administration premiered “It’s On Us,” a nationwide campaign to end sexual assault.

The campaign encourages national conversation and a solution, as stated by the It’s On Us website, for people to sign a pledge to take a stand against sexual violence.

RELATED: UISG passes new election code legislation

UISG has developed a Fall Week of Action, in which students are encouraged to become engaged in conversations regarding sexual violence .

“This year, there has been an emphasis on making It’s On Us more tangible and more apparent,” said Micah Augusma, the UISG director of health and safety. “We want to put on events that show the importance of this campaign and how important the issue is.”

This year, through partnerships with Associated Residence Halls, University Counseling Service, the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator, the Women’s Resource and Action Center, the Rape Victim Advocacy Program, and University Housing & Dining, UISG has been able to develop a more substantial approach to the campaign, he said.

RELATED: UISG voices opposition towards proposed study abroad fee

The week began Monday evening with a town hall in the IMU on the deconstruction of myths surrounding survivor testimonies.

There will be events encouraging students to sign the pledge from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today in Catlett and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday in Hillcrest.

On Wednesday, Patrick Galligan of the University Counseling Service will speak in the Catlett multipurpose room at 7 p.m. on peer disclosures regarding sexual violence.

There will also be a Vision Wall on the west wall of Hubbard Commons titled “What Does a World Without Sexual Violence Look like?” Students will be able to use sticky notes to respond to the question.

Two new additions to the Week of Action are the support of East Side Panhellenic and Multicultural greek councils with banners and a resource fair. The banners are to be displayed outside certain houses and areas with words pertaining to the It’s On Us campaign.

The resource fair will be held on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Hubbard Commons, providing various campus and community resources to inform students and support survivors.

Sen. Zhiting Feng of the UISG Health and Safety Committee said a key finding from the 2017 Speak Out Iowa Campus Climate survey was that bisexual women and gay students reported significantly higher rates of numerous types of sexual misconduct compared with their heterosexual counterparts. This sparked Feng’s interest in taking part in addressing the epidemic of sexual assault and violence.

“As a future epidemiologist and as a homosexual sexual-assault survivor, I understand that sexual assault is a pressing public-health problem that disproportionately affects the LGBTQ community,” Feng said.

UISG External Relations Director Herbert Meisner stressed the increased social movement this past year in topics surrounding sexual assault and harassment from similar campaigns such as the #MeToo movement. 

“It is critical that we as Hawkeye support survivors believe survivors and emphasize that our institution will be a supportive hand in the process of recovery …” he said. “It’s On Us to stop sexual assault and harassment.”