FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Sacred Heart University has joined the national campaign, “It’s On Us” to bring awareness and put an end to campus sexual assaults.
The White House developed “It’s On Us” in 2014, and since then, colleges and universities have created campaigns and pledged to oppose behaviors that can lead to sexual assault. Sacred Heart's staff, faculty and students saw the initiative’s importance and launched their own campaign with several clubs, sports teams and organizations joining the cause.
Cory Robinson, a sophomore English major, first learned about “It’s On Us” from a news story. He said he didn’t think much of it at first until he attended a conference at the University of Connecticut last year with SHU’s Student Wellness Education and Empowerment Team (s.w.e.e.t.).
Each group that takes part in the campaign will develop its own finish for the sentence, “Our University is…” s.w.e.e.t.’s version is, “Our SHU is a community where consent is sweet.”
“The campaign is very grassroots. It’ll start with us; we’re the leaders of the campaign,” Robinson said of s.w.e.e.t.
Junior and s.w.e.e.t. member Kelly Donovan said she thinks the university community will respond well to the campaign.
“We are a close-knit community with lots of pride and integrity,” she said. “With most of the students involved in at least one campus organization, the word is sure to spread fast through social media and by word of mouth."
The national pledge asks students:
- To recognize that non-consensual 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.
Senior Connor Donnelly has been involved with the campaign through his work with the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the National Student Athlete Advisory Committee.
“It’s something that no one knows how to talk about,” he said, “but with the entire campus taking part, it will have a great presence on campus and hopefully will make a difference at SHU.”
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