“It’s On Us” comes to UMBC

Fraternity brings sexual assault awareness campaign to campus

Griffin Baltz

Contributing Writer

griff8@umbc.edu

The Lambda Chi Alpha Phi Delta fraternity has worked to become involved in the nationwide “It’s On Us” campaign, launched by President Obama, to spur activism throughout the country against sexual assault.

   Studies have shown that 19 percent of undergraduate women have experienced attempted or completed sexual assault since entering college. In September, President Obama brought the nation’s attention to the ongoing issue of sexual assault on college campuses through the initiation of a new campaign.

The “It’s On Us” campaign encourages men and women to pledge to “step off the sidelines” and become an active part of a solution to sexual assault on campuses throughout the country.

The presidential administration states that they have taken steps to stop the issue, including creating a task force to protect students from sexual assault and reviewing existing laws to ensure they are effectively protecting victims.

On October 20th, the UMBC chapter of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity sponsored a myUMBC post that advocated for the campaign. The post linked to a video made by the fraternity, featuring its members discussing the issue of sexual assault.

“Sexual assault can come in many forms. It can come with any number of excuses,” reads the post, written by sophomore biology major Christopher Hopkins. “It’s On Us to show that we, as a Greek community, as a school system, as a nation, as the people of the world, will accept none of them.”

    Yoo-Jin Kang, president of the Phi Mu sorority on campus, applauded the campaign and Lambda Chi Alpha’s efforts to become involved.

“It is commendable to see that a fraternity has taken the first UMBC action in creating a video that is centered on raising awareness about this issue,” said Kang. “I look forward to seeing more participation and activism from our campus students, Greek life, athletics, and beyond on this initiative. This video is a good first step.”

Kang hopes that the campaign will help complement the existing voices on campus that have already been engaging this issue and empower more students to become actively involved in the efforts currently in place.

During the speech that served to launch the campaign, Obama noted that the country has not made a strong enough effort to fight sexual assault. “Our society still does not sufficiently value women,” he said. “We don’t condemn sexual assault as loudly as we should. We make excuses. We look the other way.”

“It’s On Us” sets out to create an environment of awareness in which men are actively involved in finding a solution to the issue of sexual assault, according to both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

The presence of the national campaign on UMBC’s campus will augment the presence of the Relationship Violence and Awareness Program, which provides resources for issues like sexual assault and relationship abuse.

“It’s not enough to know that violence is ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’—I think we can agree on that,” adds Kang. “it’s about knowing what violence and sexual assault can look like, that everyone can commit and experience it, and that we have a voice in preventing it.”

 

Sources:

 

http://my.umbc.edu/discussions/13547

 

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/09/19/president-obama-launches-its-us-campaign-end-sexual-assault-campus

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/09/19/seeking-to-end-rape-on-campus-wh-launches-its-on-us/

 

http://umbc.edu/rvap/resources/sexual-assault-policy/

 

http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/sv-datasheet-a.pdf