MURFREESBORO — Greek organizations at MTSU are uniting in an effort to change the conversation about sexual assault.
The “It’s On Us” campaign, part of a national effort started last month, will hold a pledge drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, in the Student Union.
Members of fraternities and sororities will encourage students to sign an online personal promise at www.itsonus.org to not be bystanders when they see situations that are or have the potential to become sexual assaults.
A photo booth will be available where students may have their pictures taken seated in front of an MTSU “True Blue” backdrop while holding “It’s On Us” messages.
“Education is the main point of this campaign,” said Donald Abels, coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life. “Our primary focus right now is just to get people talking about the topic of consent.”
The promise reads: “I pledge to recognize that nonconsensual sex is sexual assault, to identify situations in which sexual assault may occur, to intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given, to create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.”
“It’s a personal commitment to keep men and women safer on campus,” said Mitch Denning, vice president of member development for the Interfraternity Council.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden launched the “It’s On Us” initiative at a Sept. 19 news conference in Washington, D.C.
“We still don’t condemn sexual assault as loudly as we should,” Obama said. “We make excuses. We look the other way. The message that sends can have a chilling effect.”
A study published in the “Journal of American College Health” showed 19 percent of undergraduate women experienced an attempted or completed sexual assault since entering college.
Men are also at risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 71 men, or nearly 1.6 million men, have been raped in their lifetimes.
To spread the word, MTSU fraternities and sororities are touting the “It’s On Us” campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The Twitter hashtags are #itsonus and #truebluemove.
For more information, contact Abels at 615-898-5812 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Denning at 615-417-8944 or email@example.com.