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It’s On Us campaign comes to Loyola to spread awareness about sexual assault

| By Stephanie Weaver
It's On Us
Student body presidents from area colleges at the White House's launch of It's On Us.

Loyola University Maryland’s Student Government Association (SGA) is informing the Loyola community about sexual assault through "It’s On Us," a national campaign to raise awareness about sexual assault on college campuses.

The campaign asks students— and anyone interested—to take the pledge through their website to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault. By taking the pledge, you are agreeing to identify and intervene in situations that involve sexual assault.

The campaign has gained national attention and the support of large public, private, and non-profit partners, including the Obama administration, NCAA, Big Ten conferences, MTV, and Tumblr.  

Loyola’s SGA heard about "It’s On Us" through the National Campus Leadership Council, a non-profit organization based in D.C. that alerts student councils to issues facing college-aged students. After learning about the campaign, SGA President Cory Hodson knew he wanted Loyola to be a part of the national movement.

“This campaign sparks discussion about a silent issue. Sexual assault has always been— and in some regards, always will be—a difficult topic to wrap words around,” said Cory Hodson. “This campaign, though, is positive in that it diffuses the responsibility throughout a community to say that it is on all of us to never allow this to happen.”

SGA planned a three-week rollout to inform students of the campaign. They made a video to show during dinner in Boulder Garden Café and Iggy’s, while SGA and dining staff wore black #ItsOnUs T-shirts. After dinner Friday, Oct. 3, students were invited to sign the pledge. And many did, Hodson said.

On Oct. 10 SGA members handed out calling cards from the Counseling Center that list emergency numbers and resources for students. On Oct. 24, SGA will hand out #ItsOnUs cups and stickers during midnight breakfast.

Hodson is one of 12 student representatives from universities across the country who were invited to attend the launch of the campaign at the White House in September. He was joined by students from American University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Catholic University of America, University of Maryland, George Mason University, James Madison University, University of Virginia, The College of William and Mary, University of Minnesota, and Ohio State University.

The event at The White House included a panel of experts on sexual assault on college campuses, and a talk delivered by a survivor of sexual assault.

"It is important that students are aware that they have an important role in addressing sexual assault. The national 'It’s On Us' campaign has provided a structure for SGA to engage all students in important dialogue and action to build the type of respectful community that everyone desires,” said Donelda Cook, Ph.D., Loyola’s associate vice president for student development and director of the counseling center. “Student development administrators have always welcomed opportunities to collaborate and support student leaders in initiatives that enhance the wellbeing of all students in our university community."

To take the pledge or learn more, go to ItsOnUs.org.

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