STUDENT DUTY TO SPEAK UP

The ‘It’s On Us’ campaign has advocates in the entertainment industry, professional sports and NCAA athletics. But, it’s much more than just another cause to support here on campus. It is a pledge each and every student on campus should take up.

In this week’s issue, we have an article lo- calizing the news coming out of Albany that re- ports of sexual assaults on campuses statewide increasing, along with the number of institutions in New York being investigated by federal law enforcement for how they’ve been handling cases of sexual violence. The increase is being directly related to the new policies for defining consensual sex and the right of a rape victim that all colleges in the state were instructed to implement roughly two years ago.

According to an Associated Press story re- leased earlier this week, 25 schools in New York

are being investigated for their practices when handling sexual violence cases, six times the num- ber two years ago when the aforementioned poli- cies were not yet in place. The article quoted the director of UAlbany’s Advocacy Center for Sexual Violence as saying there is research to back up the fact that 42 percent of college students don’t tell anyone after they are attacked.

As part of the policies now in place, schools were required to designate a person to oversee re- sponse to sexual violence cases on their campus. At Oswego State, Title IX Coordinator Lisa Ev- aneski, is that person.

In the fall, any student traveling through the Marano Campus Center saw Evaneski at least once out tabling with green and gold ‘It’s On Us’ T-shirts asking members of the campus commu- nity to take the pledge. She is a vocal supporter of the campaign and the call for victims to come for-

ward. During the fall semester, Evaneski and her colleagues trained 2,500 students and employees on prevention and response to sexual violence. Clubs, organizations and intercollegiate sports teams are required to send several representa- tives to this training.

We are all members of the greater commu- nity and everyone deserves protection from predators. Everyone deserves to have a rea- sonable expectation of safety during his or her four years here.

The Title IX page on the college’s website also has a page for reporting incidents, which can be done anonymously, and a phone number for a 24- hour University Police hotline students can call.

Whether you wear the T-shirt or not, say something and do something, because it’s your duty. Everyone should be willing to help a fellow student.