Preventing sexual assault on campus; ‘It’s On Us’


photo by Sierra High / Photo Editor

In recognition of April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, trees on the UW-Whitewater campus are decorated with blue ribbons to raise awareness about stopping sexual assault on campus.

Shannon Columb, Staff Writer

On Thursday, April 27, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater will be one of over 200 college campuses around the country spreading awareness of sexual assault. On that day, students and faculty are asked to wear their “It’s On Us” T-shirt or sticker. Stickers will be available all day Thursday in theUniversity Center.

One in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college, according to the National Sexual Violence
Resource Center.

Ninety percent of these cases of sexual violence go unreported.

In order to change the violence and silence culture of many college campuses, a movement was launched in 2014 in hopes of putting an end to campus sexual assault. This movement is known as “It’s On Us.”

“These kinds of grassroots efforts help to make an impact on the bigger issue that is sexual assault,” event organizer Allison Hetz said.

WSG has been involved with the nation-wide movement since 2015. This year Hetz,  a survivor of sexual assault,  coordinated the day, as WSG had made no definite plans.

Hetz says it’s important to educate the Whitewater community about sexual violence on campuses because individuals will have a better understanding of the
issue and how to prevent it.

“Together as a campus we will continue to look for solutions to prevent assaults, as well as continue to look for ways to help survivors,”
Hetz said. 

The month of April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS) has played an active role in spreading awareness.

UHCS has tied ribbons to trees around campus, to remind students on their way to class about sexual assault awareness and throughout the month, has sponsored educational events on campus.

“It takes every person on this campus to step up and say, ‘I will do everything I can to prevent
sexual assault from happening,’” Valerie Vargas, wellness coordinator at UHCS said.

Last Thursday, April 20, UHCS held a trivia event in the University Center.

“Our goal was to raise some awareness and celebrate some of the work our students have been doing to make our campus a safer place,” Vargas said

UHCS encourages the Whitewater community to wear denim for Denim Day on Wednesday, April 26. Denim Day is a nationally recognized day to support sexual assault survivors and
spread awareness.

On Thursday, the same day as “It’s On Us,” the student organization, Coalition Against Sexual and Interpersonal
Violence (CASIV), is hosting “Take Back the Night.”

CASIV invites survivors and allies of interpersonal and sexual violence to join them for support, resources and snacks in Esker 108 starting at 6:30 pm. Thursday will be a day of education and support for sexual assault

survivors and allies.

Hetz requests that on Thursday, students and faculty post to social media using #ItsOnUsUWW.